Wells Fargo relaunches policy that led to fake job interviews, with tweaks

Wells Fargo is reactivating a hiring practice it halted this year after a former employee revealed it was leading managers to interview nonwhite candidates for previously filled jobs, according to a memo seen by The New York Times. .

The bank’s practice, known as a “diverse slate” policy, requires that half of the candidates interviewed for certain jobs be women or non-white people. He also calls for the panel of people interviewing candidates for certain jobs to be “diverse”. From August 19, the practice will be rolled out again for certain jobs, with new features added to prevent abuse, according to the memo, which was sent to bank officials on Monday.

The bank acknowledged in the memo that its guidelines could be improved. A problem faced by leaders, according to the memo: “Our guidelines and processes can be too prescriptive. »

The most significant changes will be increased training for managers and an easier approval process for exemptions to the roster diversity requirement.

There will also be a change in which open jobs must meet the requirement. The previous version of the policy required that every job with a salary of $100,000 or more be filled only after interviews with a diverse list of applicants.

“Instead of the previous criteria based on compensation, relevant roles will now be based on job level, not compensation,” the memo reads. He did not specify which employment levels would fall under the requirement.

Wells Fargo suspended the policy on June 6 after The Times reported that a former employee of the bank’s wealth management business complained that he was forced by his bosses to interview people for jobs already promised to others, just to meet various hiring requirement. Overall, 12 current and former employees told The Times that they participated in fake interviews or were aware of the practice.

On June 9, The Times reported that federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York were investigating whether Wells Fargo violated the civil rights of job applicants.

When they suspended the policy, bank executives promised to spend the next few weeks talking to employees about how to improve the program.

“Overwhelmingly, we heard about the need to improve the candidate and manager experience and the need for stronger, longer-term commitment and investment in helping employees develop their skills and to develop their careers,” the memo reads.

In a statement emailed to news outlets on Monday announcing the policy’s relaunch, Bei Ling, Wells Fargo’s human resources manager, said the bank benchmarked its policies against those of other banks and large corporations and decided that, as a concept, requiring “diverse lists” of job applicants was “common good practice”.

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