Say my name: Introducing the Candidate Name Pronunciation feature in Greenhouse

Job interview at outdoor cafe

1 mins, 42 secs read time

Names matter – they’re a central part of someone’s identity, representative of who they are and often where they come from. And it's safe to say that the correct pronunciation of a name is just as important.

Beyond a workplace courtesy

At Greenhouse, we’ve seen how inclusive hiring cultures build stronger businesses. It’s clear that creating that culture is rooted in seemingly small details – like pronouncing every candidate’s name correctly. It’s not just common courtesy, it’s a crucial behavior for achieving true workplace inclusivity – one that prioritizes acceptance and belonging.

According to the 2012 study Teachers, Please Learn Our Names!: Racial Microaggressions and the K-12 Classroom, “although the racial undertones to the mispronunciation of names are often understated, when analyzed within a context of historical and current day racism, these incidents are considered racial microaggressions – subtle daily insults that, as a form of racism, support a racial and cultural hierarchy of minority inferiority.”

Because mispronunciation in the classroom causes a harmful form of othering, it affects the emotional wellbeing of students of color, and essentially hinders their ability to learn.

Now imagine the triggering effects for a candidate hearing their name pronounced incorrectly during their dream job interview: confusion, disappointment and frustration – none of which are adjectives you’d like to see on your candidate feedback survey.

Hello, my name is the Candidate Name Pronunciation feature

We’re so excited to announce that Greenhouse is launching the Candidate Name Pronunciation feature – it gives your candidates the opportunity to pre-record their names before their first interview, so your hiring team is clear on how they should be addressed.

How it works

With this new feature, candidates are able to pre-record the correct pronunciation of their names when recruiters request their interview schedule availability through Greenhouse. Candidates can:

  • Record up to 10 seconds of audio
  • Playback to ensure they’re comfortable with it
  • Re-record as many times as they’d like
  • Delete the recording if they so choose

Improve the interview experience for everyone involved in your hiring process

Giving every candidate the ability to pre-record their name with the correct pronunciation helps provide an exceptional candidate experience, even before their first contact with you.

Avoid discomfort.
Not only does it allow them to be addressed as they’d like, it also removes the distracting inner debate that comes with the cringe of hearing their name pronounced incorrectly – “Do I correct them? Would it seem arrogant? Will the interviewer be embarrassed?”

Empower candidates.
Candidates from underrepresented backgrounds with unique names, who usually bear the burden of correcting others, will feel seen, safe and acknowledged – and ready to focus on what really matters.

Combat implicit bias.
Are some names really “too difficult” to pronounce, or is this idea rooted in the fact that many of them don’t fall into categories deemed recognizable or acceptable by western colonialism? The answer is clear, and by offering potential hires the Candidate Name Pronunciation feature, your organization can break from the status quo and denounce the idea of whiteness as the “easy to pronounce” default.

If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, then they can learn to say Uzoamaka.
–Uzo Aduba, Emmy winning actress for Orange is the New Black and Mrs. America

Make your commitment to DE&I clear.
They’ll also leave the interview with a positive lasting impression and an understanding of your company's commitment to inclusion on a deeper level than any mission statement could provide.

So say their name, get it right, commit to radical inclusivity and hire great talent.

If you’re a Greenhouse customer, please visit the support center to learn more about setting up the Candidate Name Pronunciation feature.

Editor's note: We understand that we still have more work to do when it comes to addressing the needs of people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. We're constantly iterating on our processes and we'll be looking into how we can make our product more inclusive to as many people as possible.

Micah Gebreyes

Micah Gebreyes

is a Senior Manager of Content Marketing at Greenhouse where she develops and leads the content strategy for Greenhouse blogs, social media and thought leadership newsletter, Modern Recruiter. When she's not working to bring the brand story to life, she enjoys spending time with her Pomeranian, Cashew. Keep the conversation growing with Micah on LinkedIn or through the Greenhouse LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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