Virginia Staffing Firm Apologizes for Job Post Asking for ‘Preferably Caucasian’ Applicants, Says It Fired Employees Responsible

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After much criticism, a Virginia staffing has apologized for an online job posting considered by many to be racially discriminatory.

IT hiring firm Cynet Systems faced a torrent of backlash last week over a help wanted ad seeking a “preferably Caucasian” candidate for an account manager job in Tampa, Florida. By Sunday, the firm had removed the post amid growing outrage and issued an apology on Twitter.

Cynet Systems
Cynet Systems apologized for the racist post and said the listing’s language “does not reflect our core values of inclusivity & equality.” (@misshelnasue / Twitter screenshot)

Still, many were left to wonder how such an inflammatory post could slip through.

“Cynet apologizes for the anger and frustration caused by the offensive job post,” the firm wrote, adding that the workers involved have been fired and that the posting “doesn’t reflect our core values of inclusivity & equality.” 

“We will take this as a learning experience & will continue to serve our diverse community,” it concluded.

The furor began Saturday after a Twitter user posted a screenshot of the offending job post. The ad, which was posted to LinkedIn and a few other job listing websites, described an applicant who is “preferably Caucasian” candidate with a good technical background.

According to the job description, the applicant must also have 8 to 10 years of experience and knowledge of RPA, or “robotic process automation.”

It didn’t take long for critics to condemn the discriminatory post.

“Uh, hey Cynet Jobs — What’s with this?,” Twitter user Helena McCabe wrote. “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?”

Even after being called out, local station WUSA9 reported that it took the company a whopping 44 hours to respond with an apology. Cynet issued another apology on Monday explaining that the firm has a longstanding policy of rejecting clients who request candidates of a specific race or gender.

“We will turn clients down if they demand requirements of this type be included,” the firm’s co-CEO, Ashwani Mayur, said in a statement adding that Cynet prides itself of being an “immensely diverse” company.

Both of our owners are Indian-Americans, our workforce is over 60 percent minority, and we are certified as a diversity supplier by the National Minority Supplier Development Council,” Mayur added. 

WUSA 9 reported that critics are also calling into question an online job listing for an account manager in Herndon, Virginia, specifically seeking a “female candidate only.” Cynet has yet to give an explanation for that post.

Passed in 1964, the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex or national origin. 

Mayur said he understood were upset by the listing, and promised that the company would take steps to flag offensive or outside-of-policy ads before they go live to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.

His apology did little quell the outrage, however, as critics demand a more genuine response to the issue.

“Instead of writing something generic as hell like this,maybe explain to us – how did this *happen*?,” one Twitter user wrote. “Did a company you work with send in a straight up racist help-wanted ad, and y’all just Ctrl+C Ctrl+V’ed it? Or was it an in person discussion and your employee went ‘sounds fine’?”

“Anyone else tired of these companies doing this,” then apologizing “and claiming it ‘does not reflect our core values,?'” another critic chimed in. “Just excuses. If the above is true how did this even happen?! Did the person who posted it not read it before posting?!”

One user said the apology “still doesn’t feel like enough.”

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