✍🏽 What are your thoughts on Affinity groups/ERGs? Are they “HR approved”? I feel like it can easily get dicey…

small non-profit. recently our DE&I group has brought in the thought of affinity groups and HR thought there could be possible red flags…

πŸ“£ Ruthie Garelik Berson, Global HR Business Partner at The EstΓ©e Lauder Companies Inc.:

In my experience they are a great idea and help channel employee sentiments in a constructive, and communal way. However the org needs to be ready for it. I highly recommend guidelines of how to propose a new ERG and definition of what is and is not qualifying. In our org every ERG must have a charter, mission and a basic committee structure including an exec sponsor. That way, leadership and HR can assess objectively without surprises of what may be appropriate or inappropriate uses and efforts without the employees feeling misled or not heard (this is probably not 100% avoidable but having something published to refer people to helps keep it on the up and up). It is something that requires maturity as an org β€” don’t offer a platform if you won’t listen or deal with what comes up. But it can be very empowering for the employees and highlight real themes that are important for engagement.

Caveat from me is I have only experienced them in large corporations so curious to hear from those who have been at smaller orgs when initially introduced and the growing pains they went through in smaller teams. We definitely have had growing pains especially as new group proposals have come up but can imagine the context is a bit distinct.

✍🏽 What should someone do when they’re asked to take an IQ or personality test as part of an interview process? It feels ableist and like a big red flag, but not everyone has the privilege of just opting out of a potential job!

Arts nonprofit organization sent an IQ test between interview round one and interview round two. About 50 questions, and things like “Person 1 is Person 2’s cousin. Person 2 and Person 3 are (whatever relationship). Who is Person 1 to Person 3?”

πŸ“£ Stephanie Lemek, Founder & CEO at The Wounded Workforce:

I think it’s important for the organization to be transparent about the ‘why’ in situations like this and if it’s not offered- ask. I might ask how the assessment factors into the process or how the data is used – in the recruiting process, in making hiring decisions, and post hire.

I also have to say, unless they are using a particular validated tool (aligned to the role) or have done some serious work setting this up- this practice very well could be illegal, especially if they are using it to make hiring decisions. So that red flag feels very warranted, especially if the weren’t communicative up front (including opportunities to ask for a reasonable accommodation)

Hebba Youssef
Hebba Youssef

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