Unbiased Hiring of Online Tutors
Unbiased Hiring of Online Tutors
Dec 09, 2013

Humans love to dream, and I am no exception.  I used to have this dream that I was the head of a company and I would interview and hire job applicants in a most unique way.  The job interviews would take place in two separate rooms, connected only by an audio system that would convert the applicant's voice into a synthetic computer voice, so not even the gender of the person being interviewed would be known.  Any information on the applicant's paperwork would be carefully edited by my staff before I would see it, so there would be no names, birthdates, or indications of gender.  In essence, my evaluation of the applicant would consist of his academic background, work experience, and ability to communicate effectively during what would be a lengthy and carefully constructed probing of his personality and technical knowledge.

That was the dream, and little did I know it would come true, more or less.  One of the unanticipated pleasures of owning the online tutoring service 24HourAnswers.com is that I've had a chance to hire online tutors based solely on their academic transcripts and a series of email communications. There were many tutors from around the world whose names provided no clue to their gender, and without ever hearing their voices or seeing images of them, I hired them based purely on their academic backgrounds and their ability to communicate in writing. In many cases, I knew nothing else about them.  After they were hired, I promoted them based on their competence, ability to satisfy the academic needs of our college students, and level of devotion.  It was a system of hiring and promoting online tutors devoid of bias, prejudice, or discrimination.  This made me happy.

In fact, this system of hiring online tutors was so unbiased that it sometimes created unexpected problems of its own. One of my very best computer science tutors ultimately became promoted to a staff administrator, and after working for me for two years, I still had no idea whether he was a "he" or a "she," as there was nothing in any of his emails or paperwork that provided the slightest clue.  After becoming a staff administrator, we needed to refer to him within our staff emails, but suddenly we didn't know whether to use the pronoun "he" or "she" in such references. Finally, I had to break the purity of this situation and ask this tutor if he was a male or female, something we were able to laugh about afterwards when I discovered that my inclination to suspect he was female turned out to be incorrect. That's how things are in a purely unbiased work environment.

Nowadays, we've added Skype interviews to the process, but without the video, so for the moment I reluctanly accept the fact that I must know the gender of my applicant.  However, remember my original dream?  If any of you know about some voice conversion software that will bring the synthetic computer voice back to the interview process, email our support desk and let us know.  In the meantime, we will continue providing the best college homework help to our students with a tutoring staff hired with only one thought in mind - providing the highest level of academic assistance to any college student coming to our site.

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