Friday, May 06, 2011
Employment: Frankly, I Wouldn't Want to Sit Down for a Meeting
This week VIN ran a Press Release in which NY politician Dov Hikind insinuated that banks in the Boro Park area where engaging in discriminatory practices by not hiring enough Orthodox Jews and essentially demanding some sort of quota or affirmative action program:
(Press Release) Brooklyn, NY - Following a month-long survey of 22 local banks in Boro Park which revealed that the Orthodox Jewish community is not adequately represented in the existing workforce, Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) has organized a meeting with branch managers and human resources personnel to discuss community outreach strategies and potential vacancies. [. . . . ]
“Our findings revealed that more than a dozen banks serving the Borough Park community have not made a concerted effort to recruit, train or hire the best and the brightest that our community has to offer,” Hikind said. “Though we are aware of many qualified candidates, the character of the Boro Park community is simply not reflected in the workforce of local banks. An evaluation of the same financial institutions located in Crown Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant, and Chinatown found that the people who lived in those neighborhoods also worked in the local banks.”
Who knows why he chose to focus on the banking industry over other industries. Either way, few people I know like to be accused of discrimination. I'd say that is a pure chutzpah when there was no audit of employment applications to begin with. Nonetheless, representatives from banks agreed to a meeting with Hikind and the Emergency Parnassa Initiative (mentioned previously in the post "And if we have to pay them more they are worth every penny").
At the meeting bank representatives informed Hikind, in response to his month long survey of 22 banks in the Boro Park and Flatbush area, some vital information: few, if any, were applying!
Hikind "secured commitments [from the banks] to conduct better outreach efforts to alert the community about vacancies and training opportunities" namely, asking the banks to post vacancies in Jewish and Yiddish publications, as the community doesn't as a whole use the internet. The Emergency Parnassah Initiative Executive Director announced:
“My organization will work with your recruiters to ensure that we send you candidates who have already been interviewed and vetted by us, so you don’t have to sift through hundreds of résumés. You know the people we send you will be appropriate.”
Those who are interested in being considered for positions at local banks should e-mail a résumé and cover letter to .
This all would be humorous if it wasn't actually true.
My recommendation to job seekers: if you want to work in a Boro Park bank, apply for the job through the bank's regular recruitment mechanisms. March yourself into several local banks that you are interested in working in and introduce yourself to the branch manager, inquiring of opportunities both within the local bank and other banks in the greater area. Inquire directly of the branch managers and human resources department what skills one needs for the jobs and what skills you should be picking up to advance in the industry.