The New York City mayor's office has already begun the "bizarre and uncomfortable" process of requesting headshots of prospective job applicants for administrative jobs, according to Politico.
Mayor Eric Adams reportedly wants employment agencies to provide photographs of potential hires within City Hall, covering vacancies that range from assistant commissioner to departmental press secretary.
Politico was made aware of the mayor's new initiative by "several unnamed city officials," many of whom attest that City Hall is making a concerted effort to hire more diverse staffers.
However, Mayor Adams says the practice is simply a way of identifying and recognizing the many workers insider City Hall.
"Everyone knew what it was. There was no question. It was the first thing everybody said: 'We're going to start counting complexions now,'" a former employee, who recently parted ways with the mayor's office, told Politico.
When applying for jobs in the United States, it's commonplace for prospective workers to encounter a number of specific questions related to race, gender, military service, and disabilities.
In that vein, the human resources department at Adams' office would already have "race" information, without the assistance of a headshot.
According to the New York Post, hiring managers working with the mayor's office "aren't expected to ask" job candidates for headshots.
Instead, as a means of meetingAdams' request, the managers will typically select photos from universal social media sites, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.
"The whole hiring process this City Hall set up is difficult enough, and the photo requirement just takes it from hard to bizarre and uncomfortable," a high-ranking agency official told Politico.
Once again, though, Adams says his process is more of a social respect issue than anything else.
"Nothing, I think, is more disrespectful than when people work for you on your executive team and you don’t know who they are," Adams said Thursday. "I should know my employees."
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