A northern Virginia tech staffing company has apologized after an online job posting sought “preferably Caucasian” applicants. Cynet Systems in Sterling, Virginia, removed the post and issued an apology Sunday on Twitter.
The company said the individuals involved have been fired and the job post “does not reflect our core values of inclusivity & equality.” The help wanted ad, posted on LinkedIn and other sites, sought an account manager for a job based in Tampa, Florida, with an unspecified pharma company.
A bullet point under “Job Description” described a candidate who is “Preferably Caucasian who has good technical background.” The posting caused a stir on social media with one person asking: “How could you POSSIBLY think that’s okay?”
Uh, hey @cynetjobs – what’s with this?
Your job listing for a mid-senior level business development position’s top qualification is “Preferably Caucasian”
How could you POSSIBLY think that’s okay? pic.twitter.com/DPWzpgXqqE — Helena McCabe (@misshelenasue) April 27, 2019
CBS affiliate WUSA-TV reports that even after being called out, it took the company two days to respond. A Cynet statement issued Monday said the company has a longstanding policy of turning down clients requesting candidates of a specific race or gender.
“We understand why some may have been upset seeing this listing, because we were too,” the company’s co-CEO, Ashwani Mayur, said. The company statement does not say how long the ad was live.
“We are also looking at measures that could help us catch offensive or outside-of-policy ads before they ever go live to ensure this can’t happen again,” Mayur said. He noted that he and the other company owner are both Indian-American, and that his company’s workforce is 60% minority.
A LinkedIn spokeswoman said the ad was taken down as soon as it was discovered and that such postings are highly unusual.
“Discrimination of any kind is against our policies and we have no tolerance for it on our platform,” the company said in a statement. “We have dedicated teams and technical measures in place to identify content that violates our policies; they took quick action to remove the job posting.”
Mayur also said his company is reviewing all of its job postings “to ensure no similar issues exist.”
WUSA reports that screenshots posted online show the company had posted an ad for an account manager in Herndon, Virginia, with a notation including “female candidate only.” The listing appears to have been deleted or modified; the company did not respond to a question about that job posting.
State employment and labor officials directed questions to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which did not immediately return an email seeking comment Monday.