I am working with a client who specifically needs a female manager.  They have several male managers, just lost the one female on staff and feel that they must have at least one female manager to work with many of their female associates in the event they need to talk about "girl stuff".

To me this is a justified need and not any attempt to discriminate.  However i do not want to put a gender specific requirement in an ad.  Nor do i want to tell male candidates that they can't be considered because i need a female due to the inbalance of all existing managers being male.  I don't think.  Without knowing who is on the receiving end of that communication or in the event i get some nut who does not understand that my client is not discriminating but rather trying not to discriminate because they have all male managers, i think i might run the risk of having to anwer an EEOC complaint.

 

What would you do?  Would you just post the ad and put something like, "Female managers are encouraged to apply". 

Post the ad and make no reference to gender at all then ignore qualified male candidates.

 

Post the ad and try to explain to qualified male candidates that the company is looking for a female because they don't have any and need a lady.

 

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.  This one has me questioning my normal blunt self who would ususally say, "Charlie i need a lady on this one".  They don't have any lady managers at this point and are about to be accused of discrimination."  Then get to hear old Charlie say, "They can't do that and by God i am going to report it."

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I get requests for:  "No unemployed candidates please..." or "Younger is better, etc."--to those I will send the best candidates I can muster regardless of age, employment status, gender, race, ethnicity, etc.

If and when I get push-back--I remind them that their ultimate selection is on them--my role is to help them sort from the best available, qualified, capable and affordable candidates with potential--which will include candidates who will fit their specific interest(s)...and MORE.  I often find their appreciative of the mixed slate and often hire candidates they wouldn't normally hire based on their initial instructions.

Great way to re-center the client on your role in the process, Valentino. This has been a great discussion.  --Chris.

Valentino Martinez said:

If and when I get push-back--I remind them that their ultimate selection is on them--my role is to help them sort from the best available, qualified, capable and affordable candidates with potential--which will include candidates who will fit their specific interest(s)...and MORE.  I often find their appreciative of the mixed slate and often hire candidates they wouldn't normally hire based on their initial instructions.

@david, I would be having the same conversation with myself if all the managers were female and the need was for a male. My first thought was that most people would be reasonable if told the truth and why. Then I remembered that a lot of folks aren't real reasonable when they need a job. Sometimes maybe recruiters have too much information.

@Tino I think I am fighting some guilt feelings so maybe I just need to get over it. I may be the flip side of the recruiter who won't tell people very much. Sometimes I feel like I have give so much info it's TMI.

@christopher, I laughed out loud, I have played that conversation out and had the same choking reaction. Thus my post.

The obvious solution on this one is not to advertise it ,just direct recruit. Duh, why didn't I think of that? Maybe when I grow up I will learn to be a real recruiter.

We all continue to be students of the recruitment process, if we're smart, or we stop learning.  I have scar tissue that helps me focus, along with family, friends, enemies, acquaintances and complete strangers who are happy--and sometimes reluctant to share their wisdom based on their roads traveled. 

Chris is right--"This has been a great discussion" because it contends with the broad responsibilities that go with recruiting.

I don't know your laws - in South Africa is is not only excepted but expected that you advertise you need for example a black female engineer (Black Economic Empowerment laws which give companies bonus points towards tax relieve if they employ firstly blacks, then indian, then colored people and no points for whites, points double for females)

How about "Renowned so-and-so company is seeking a Sales Manager with a feminine point of view......" This way guys can apply if they think they have a feminine point of view.

@Stephanie, that makes  way too much sense to be used in the US.  Our piled higher and deeper employment laws are such a god awful mess that i am surprised that we can even run an ad or have an interview.  or even ask a question.  If things get anymore regulated we might as well call the local jail and tell them to send us the first 10, drunks, druggies, sex offenders and lunatics even if they didn't get out of the thrid grade and we will just hire them in the order they show up.

 

Common sense and business needs have gone out the window trying to make things fair right and equal.  There is a need for reasonable rules and regs to prevent outright discrimination but in my opinion it has gone so far off the edge that is part of the reason for the high unemployment rate.  This is not a thread that should go that direction and it's a waste of bandwidth to go there.  I just plan to vote for anybody in the next election who will rein in the rabid regulation of commerce that gets worse with each passing day.  No i don't want to repeal Title 7, 14 or any of the others taht were needed just think we have blown ourselves to hell in a handbasket.  Unlike your resonable laws that reward diversity hiring.  Ours punish to achieve compliance.

When we starthnking in terms of incentives instead of criminalizing business we might get out of this economic mess.  End of rant.

 

I very much like the "feminine point of view"  Probably will get me sued but i am almost at the point that like many of my clients, i have a business to run so bring it.  :)

There is a reward for diversity hiring in this country.  DIVERSITY.

The stark lack of diversity representation in management, in particular, invited regulations and executive orders to address what was becoming institutionalized discrimination. A fact so blatant in the '30s & 40s, that President Truman had to avoid a resistant Congress by issuing an Executive Order that desegregated the Armed Forces in 1948--setting a precedent for the rest of the country.

The fact that we're still addressing underrepresentation in the workforce, due to Glass Ceilings and Revolving Doors, in 2012 suggests more work must be done.

Tino's post about affirmative action is exactly what I was going to suggest. If they have all male managers now, seeking out female managers is not out of the question. In fact, it would be encouraged. I just sat through a long, painful OFCCP conference and I don't think you would necessarily have a problem by seeking out women, but I do agree that directly posting that that is what you are seeking might be frowned upon. 

Thanks Megan.  Isn't it great that we are encouraged to focus on diversity and equal representation in the workforce but we can't talk about it.

 

If the EEOC would get off their lazy butts and process legitimate claims that employees have instead of letting them die from lack of feeding we would get things fixed a whole lot quicker.  The only thing they are quick about is coming up with more rules and regs that they don't follow up on when there is a legitimate violation.  I just love government agencies.

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