Hey recruiters, don’t f*cking do this

Photo by Наталья Кленова on Unsplash

Okay pals, buckle up! I spent 6 months job hunting last year, and throughout a handful of interviews, over 70 job applications, had my fair share of recruiters completely and totally blunder the interview when it came to gender stuff. Let’s dive in!

What not to do with transgender candidates in a job interview

Recruiters should never presume a candidate’s gender; every candidate should be given the opportunity to introduce themselves live with their name and pronouns. This ensures you, the recruiter, are not misgendering them OR pronouncing their name wrong.

As a recruiter, you should know that diversity equity and inclusivity is a job, a very hard one, that many people are paid 5k-50k to consult with brands and companies to improve on their DE&I practices. That being said, asking your interviewees for free feedback on ways to improve inclusivity within your own company is a shitty move, bruh. That knowledge comes from life experience, and you should never corner a candidate like this in an interview.

Transgender candidates don’t have to disclose that they are trans — your assumptions mean nothing while they have the floor. Unless a candidate openly shares about their gender identity, that’s completely off the table. They should be given the same courtesy as any other job candidates and allowed to ask whatever questions they have about your company.

I strongly do not recommend interviewing candidates that are transgender unless you have done internal training as a company on best practices and paid a transgender person to inform and train your team. This knowledge isn’t straightforward, and you should never assume to know best practices. It is actively harmful to expect a singular transgender employee to educate and hold miniature press conferences with their colleagues to prevent being hate-crimed or misgendered over lunch. That’s way too much extra work, and a burden when your company lacks the infrastructure to support them.

This isn’t to say don’t interview qualified transgender candidates, it’s to say get your ass in gear and start hiring transgender DE&I consultants ASAP.

To find a diversity, equity and inclusivity consultant near you, start with searching on Linkedin!



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Liz Brinks

Liz Brinks

Hey, I’m Liz Brinks (they/them) I’m a queer gender-non-conforming writer, business coach & cat-parent (@itsjuustliz everywhere) based out of Wisconsin!