Monday, November 28, 2005

Promote Your SCU MBA Blog

If you're taking the time to write a blog, why not help others find it?

Get your blog listed on other popular sites. Here are the places I recommend for submitting your SCU MBA blog:
  1. SCU's Business School Blogs: Click the "Contact Us" link at the bottom to add your blog.
  2. League of MBA Bloggers: Leave a comment for Russell.
  3. Dave for MBA: Send an email to Dave to be added to his list. Apparently Dave's blog listing is for current students only; my blog got dropped after I graduated.
  4. Technorati: Submit your URL on the ping page.
  5. Google: Search engine URL submission page.
  6. Yahoo!: Search engine URL submission page.
  7. MSN: Search engine URL submission page.
There are numerous other places you can submit your site, however based on the visitors to my site I think you'll be most successful submitting to the above if you have limited time.

Another way to promote your blog is to include your blog's URL in your email signature, especially when posting to SCU MBA Yahoo! Groups.

Have any other suggestions for promoting your SCU MBA blog? Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

Monday, November 21, 2005

ERes Tips

If you're taking a class that uses ERes, then here are some tips that you may find useful:
  1. Sign up for email alerts, so that every time a new document is posted by the professor, you'll be alerted. After you log into your class's ERes page, click on the "Course Info" tab. At the bottom of this page click the link to sign up for alerts. I found this feature to be especially important for Professor Tammy Madsen's IDIS 619 (capstone) course since she frequently posted new documents.
  2. Don't bother using the "Discussion Board" tab. I think hardly anyone looks at this tab. To communicate with your classmates, you'd be better off setting up a Yahoo! Group, so that any message posted to it can be delivered via email to all members. Take the initiative to pass around a piece of paper during class to collect emaill addresses, then invite everyone to a class Yahoo! Group.
  3. The ERes chat room isn't the best either. Again, you'd have better luck using messages in a Yahoo! Group.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Employment Discrimination by Name and a Proposed Remedy

The United States and France have something in common: Employment discrimination based on name alone. In both studies, resumes with equivalent qualifications were submitted for positions.

In the U.S., the study Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination found that resumes submitted with "White sounding names" are 50% more likely to receive a callback for an interview than "African-American ones".

In France, a study conducted by the Observatoire des Discriminations found that a resume with a "standard French name" produced 140 responses, while the same resume with a North African-sounding name yielded 14 responses.

The U.S. study included employers that advertised being "Equal Opportunity Employers", as well as federal contractors that are subject to affirmative action laws. These employers tended to discriminate more.

Let's not talk about issues of social justice, fairness, burning cars in France, etc. (at least not yet)—let's just talk about profits. If you're a hiring manager in the U.S. or France, it behooves you to take into consideration the above studies. If you don't, then your company will suffer because you may not be hiring the best available talent. And if you're part of a profit-seeking organization, then you're not doing your fiduciary duty for the organization!

When hiring, ask yourself, does the stack of resumes you received for a specific position reflect the diversity of qualified candidates available in the market? If not, then why not? Is there anyway you can reach out to groups that are not reflected in the pool of candidates? Note that this step of the hiring process requires you to be aware of diversity.

Once you have a diverse pool of qualified candidates, then it is the time to become blind to diversity. By blind, I don't mean free to discriminate based on race, color, gender, etc., I mean blind by not discriminating using these factors. Discriminate by asking questions which are pertinent for the position. Why be blind? Because at this point you want to pick the best person for the job.

The above process is not a panacea—some would argue that more (affirmative action, targeted hiring, etc.) or less (freedom to consider or not consider anyone for employment, cost, etc.) should be done. I don't think it's perfect myself. But it is a process that fair-minded liberals and conservatives alike should both be able to agree that the process is, if not ideal, better than the status quo of discrimination by name.

The cost of expanding a qualified pool of candidates is decreasing as free or cheap services such as LinkedIn, openBC, and Yahoo! Groups can enable the hiring manager to expand their reach to potential candidates. These services are not a panacea either, since the population of users of each service may not be as diverse as desired.

And unlike some other byproducts of business which produce private benefits but public costs (e.g. pollution), this process would produce positive byproducts in the U.S. and France. Equal opportunities for employment could certainly do much to further "the pursuit of happiness" and "Liberté, Egalité, and Fraternité".

In a related post on my LinkedIn blog, I propose how job candidates can reduce discrimination by name against them.