LinkedIn now allows affirmative action hiring posts in some countries

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LinkedIn logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • LinkedIn has changed its policy to allow posts that "express a preference for professionals from historically disadvantaged groups" in certain countries.
  • The change came after LinkedIn received criticism for removing a post in Brazil that said black and indigenous candidates would be preferred.
  • LinkedIn will still prohibit affirmative action hiring posts in countries in which the practice is illegal.

LinkedIn will now allow posts about job openings that express a preference for candidates from historically disadvantaged groups in certain countries. The company announced the change on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 after receiving criticism for removing a post by the Center for the Analysis of Freedom and Authoritarianism (LAUT). The news was first reported by Estadão (via ZDNet).

A post by LAUT said that preference would be given to black or indigenous candidates. LinkedIn removed the job listing because the platform prohibits discrimination based on age, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation, and other protected peoples. The company has since announced a change of policy.

"We have updated our global job posting policy to allow publication of publications that express a preference for professionals from historically disadvantaged groups in hiring in countries where this practice is considered legal," said LinkedIn in a press statement.

"In Brazil, affirmative vacancies are now allowed, including [job postings] for black and indigenous people. We appreciate the feedback we have received from our community in Brazil. Doing the right thing is important, and we are committed to continuing to learn and improve."

LinkedIn's stance change also followed action by the Brazilian government. Brazil's Public Prosecution Office informed LinkedIn that the removal of the job listing went against the country's constitution. LinkedIn was then given a deadline of 10 working days to explain the removal of the post. The company that had the post removed was also asked to share details.

Sean Endicott
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  • "where this practice is considered legal,"? Really, it's just considered legal? It's not really legal. Come on. It's ridiculous that you get beat up for not having a diverse workforce, but can't legally try to establish one.
  • I personally think active recruitment is largely a good thing in business and academia when done right, but it raises important questions about equity that many jurisdictions reasonably disagree on. This is about *advertising* in the job ad that the company will give preferential treatment specifically to someone from an historically disadvantaged background. In some countries, that's illegal (such as the US - that's why job ads can only say "we are an equal-opportunity employer"). But active recruitment is not illegal in the US: managers in charge of hiring can look at two equally qualified candidates and choose one in order to diversify their workforce along fairly arbitrary lines. There is some evidence that this actually helps companies perform better, so I don't see why *that* would ever be illegal. The point of active recruitment is to force hiring managers to check their own biases. Making it illegal to have explicit calls for diversity recruitment in job isn't going to stop that.