Sen. Christopher Belt

SPRINGFIELD – To enhance employment opportunities for women, minorities and people with disabilities in the state of Illinois, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) passed legislation in the Senate Wednesday to change the job interview process at state agencies.

“More diverse state agencies not only benefit our government and the people they serve, but they help create a more inclusive Illinois,” Belt said. “The workforce of state agencies should reflect our diversity.”

The measure would create the Equal Opportunity Employment Interview Initiative and require state agencies to implement hiring goals for certain target groups, including women, minorities and people with disabilities.

During a multiple stage or panel interview process, if an applicant has a disability or identifies as a minority, a woman, or bilingual, state agencies would have to assign an interviewer who represents the same group.

In addition, in an annual report to the governor and General Assembly, state agencies would be required to disclose:

  • the number of interviewees from target groups,
  • the number of interviews in which both the applicant and an interviewer were representative of the same target group, and
  • the number of applicants from target groups who were hired under the Equal Opportunity Employment Interview Initiative.

“In Illinois, we want the best candidates to serve the residents of this state,” Belt said. “More diverse interviewers will ensure that we no longer overlook talented applicants who would make our government look a lot more like the citizens it serves.”

Senate Bill 1765 passed the Illinois Senate without opposition and now heads to the Illinois House of Representatives for further consideration.