Intel Ups Referral Bonus to Achieve More Diversity in Its Workforce

Don Reisinger, CNET, August 4, 2015

Intel will offer thousands of dollars in cash bonuses to employees who refer women, minorities, and veterans to its workforce.

The chipmaker will pay up to $4,000 in bonuses to employees who refer a woman, minority, or veteran to its workforce, the company confirmed in a statement to the Wall Street Journal on Monday. The fee is double Intel’s current referral bonus and viewed by the company as a way to increase chances of having women and minorities receive more representation in a job applicant pool that has disproportionately consisted of white men.

“Intel is committed to increase the diversity of our workforce,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “We are currently offering our employees an additional incentive to help us attract diverse qualified candidates in a competitive environment for talent. This is not the first time we have offered employees referral incentives for diverse candidates, and it’s a commonly used recruitment tool for businesses. Today, it’s one of many programs we are deploying to attract talented women and underrepresented minorities to Intel.”

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At the end of 2014, Intel had nearly 54,000 employees. Over three-quarters of its workforce was male and 56 percent of employees were white. Just 8 percent of the company’s employees were Latino and 3.5 percent were African American. Intel did not share data on veterans.

Intel acknowledged its troubles with diversity in January at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The company’s CEO Brian Krzanich said that Intel would invest $300 million to support diversity in the workplace. He would also tie executive compensation to the progress Intel is making to improve diversity in the office.

Still, Krzanich acknowledged that improving diversity in the workplace can be a difficult task. He told CNET in an interview in January that his company isn’t entirely sure how well it will perform at improving diversity and acknowledged that Intel doesn’t necessarily know what the best strategy is.

“It will be hard. I think it’s going to be like what we do every two years–invent Moore’s Law,” Krzanich said, referring to the company’s overarching goal of doubling computer chips’ processing power every other year. “We don’t know how we’re going to do it. We go and put in the engineering effort and do what it takes. We’ll do the same thing here.”

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