What is a qualified woman or minority? Is it the same as a qualified white man? This guy has a point: As Obama gets to appointing a new judge to the Supreme Court, we're hearing the term qualified being used to pre-judge the female and/or minority candidate but not for a white male.

Frankly, I want to best person on the court: If they happen to be a short, one-legged, Eskimo lesbian that's fine with me. Yet here's where EEO guidelines and Affirmative Action have messed up recruiting: Too often hiring is based on the most qualified person of a protected class - incidentally, just as Martin writes when a person is hired simply as a result of where they went to school - rather than the best person...period.

Here's where recruiting as a function has failed; rather than challenge, recruiting as an entity is simply lying on the ground in a fetal position, seemingly powerless to take a stand.

There really is no equivocation in the phrase hire the best.

Don't hire qualified recruiters; hire the best recruiters.

Thoughts?

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The diversity/affirmative action movements, whilst understandable, do worry me, when it comes to hiring THE BEST person for the job. Do strong candidates actually get ruled out because they don't qualify as a designated minority? or because your company will get a certain tax break for hiring a certain number of one legged short Lesbian Eskimos

Never seen that over here and would be surprised if I did.... the idea scares me to be honest, it cannot be good for business. You don't see companies in Australia brag about their diversity either.

This also leans to another question we face a lot as Recruiters. Do you hire the best available now (and maybe settle for something less than perfect), or do you wait to find THAT PERFECT candidate?
On the first part, how has the Aboriginal movement impacted recruiting - if at all?

As far as the second part, isn't this a topic of discussion between the recruiter and the hiring manager at the beginning of the search? This also begs another question: When do you recruit for potential? (Also, begs another questions: How many who are part of the recruiting process actually know how to recruit for potential?)


Dan Nuroo said:
Never seen that over here and would be surprised if I did.... the idea scares me to be honest, it cannot be good for business. You don't see companies in Australia brag about their diversity either.

This also leans to another question we face a lot as Recruiters. Do you hire the best available now (and maybe settle for something less than perfect), or do you wait to find THAT PERFECT candidate?
Aboriginal side of things is very marginal, and not really in the mainstream that I have seen (in the southern states of Australia). There are set govt agencies that do focus on that though.

What if the search is taking too long? When do you pull the plug and settle and hope to invest wisely? When does not have the person start to seriously impact the business?

The recruiting for potential takes a very strong, influential and secure recruiter, as well as a strong and secure hiring manager. Most of us don't recruit in the sporting major leagues, so hiring someone who will blossom in 5 years or so is a big risk and investment.

That said, when you do do it, and it works out and you can look back on that decision, see the scraggy, pimply faced geek, you had a feeling about, taking the reigns of a large project, taking control of the 10 resources that have to achieve something, and forcing their opinion on the CEO or equivalent. Now that is Recruiting, now that is fun!
The EEO guidelines, Affirmative Action, and any other rule that is outside of simply finding the candidate that will be the best employee for that hiring manager make my head spin.....like the exorcist, not in confusion. At some point I hope people will realize that everyone will be better off without these rules. Let the desire to run a successful business be the guideline. I don't know any hiring manager or HR pro that gives a hoot deep down about skin color or gender. They want to run successful businesses, put the right people in place. We recruit to the specs that the client wants. In a few rare cases I've heard the client say, "and if it's a woman, all the better". But hardly ever and even when I heard that I've never talked with one of the recruiters about that or put it in a job order. If they can just hire the best people, the business will be more successful and will be able to hire more people. Gotta stop making business difficult with these rules.

TK
Good Lord Simon, bombs away... Spoke with my friend in Alaska and I quote, "Inuit refers to the Inupiat of northern Alaska, the Inuit of Canada, and the Kalaallit of Greenland. Most Alaskans still refer to the indigenous as Eskimos."

Of course I knew this one has "hot" all over it; have you known me to not deal with the tough issues? No wait, how about another Twitter article? Or perhaps how Gen Y'ers are misunderstood? Perhaps an analysis of whether a company would hire Kate or Jon? ;)

In reality, the CRA hasn't eradicated discrimination, it simply pushed much of it underground. However, many did permanently change their attitudes, belief and values as a result of the dynamic statutory environment and the social landscape; I grew up during this period and have written often about Dr. King and his impact.

Yet now we have global discrimination impacting so many different social, economic, political, and biological variables; if we hire qualified people to satisfy everyone we end up satisfying no one.

Hiring the best may be the single most difficult scenario because then we have no one but ourselves and the hiring managers to blame for our mistakes.

Simon Meth said:
You’ve opened a veritable minefield of issues with this one! First using “Eskimo” isn’t very PC of you. I believe that “Inuit” is the correct term. Second, you assume that those doing the hiring are actually able to choose the most qualified person for the job and that’s a really big assumption. Third, I just happened to have this discussion with a colleague yesterday who is a woman, over 40, disabled, and a minority. I said that there a kind of reverse discrimination against white males who are over 40 in diversity hiring (of course I would think that because I’m a white male over 40). She said that she would hope that we would always hire the person who is most qualified for the job. I think that’s difficult to do when the focus shifts to meeting affirmative action goals.
You mean there's an ethics problem in third party recruiting?
Gotcha - long week; I'm beat.
OK gang - Friday reality check! I think we're trying to kid ourselves here.
While it is usually subtle, and, in my opinion, subjective. . . discrimination is often like real estate. . .location, location, location. A "white woman under 40" might be in the minority in Miami, FL. Just as an African-American or Hispanic male might be scarce in Maine.
Heck, I was the "token" female at a Fortune 500 company back in '87!
Although they won't come right out and say it, there are lines drawn: some companies like to have a "young" corporate culture and will only consider those under say 35. . .but, it will be phrased as "I'd like to see those with less than 10 years total work experience", or "if I can't pronounce the name, I don't want to see the resume".

It is a personal ethics question, the only person who knows how to answer it, is the one starring back from the mirror.

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