Saturday, August 15, 2015

An Issue of Respect

Many years ago, when I was handling Equal Employment Opportunity matters for a major American city, we conducted a study to determine when people are most likely to file a discrimination complaint about the hiring process. It turned out to be very revealing.

What we learned was that being turned down for a job was not the trigger point. Unsuccessful job candidates often thought the selection decision was wrong but they regarded such decisions as mysterious territory and so rarely filed complaints.

The spot that was most sensitive, however, was when they didn't get a job interview. The reaction was along the lines of "I may not have been the best person for the job but I at least deserved a job interview!"

They were frustrated because they didn't get a chance to tell their story and to compete.

As a result, we started encouraging managers to expand the size of their interview pool. This accomplished two things. First, the managers found that some of those people in the larger pool were in fact quite good. The second thing was that the complaints about hiring decisions dropped dramatically.

Check out anything in your personnel procedures that might pose similar problems and don't cut too fine a line when it comes to showing respect.


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