Could HR solve ...? Friends

29 Mar 2018 By Marianne Calnan

Rachel hires her personal assistant based on looks rather than experience

The problem

Rachel is promoted to a new role at fashion label Ralph Lauren, and given the chance to recruit a personal assistant. Despite interviewing a far more suitable older female candidate, she chooses to hire Tag, who is young, male and very attractive – albeit woefully underqualified. 

The solution

Rachel has discriminated against the other applicant for the role by hiring Tag purely because she’s attracted to him, says Tracey Hudson, south Warwickshire director of The HR Dept: “There’s the risk of age discrimination because Tag is younger and much less experienced than the other candidate, sex discrimination because he is male and sexual harassment too.”

Tag has no relevant experience for the role, which means Rachel will be using company time to train him on the basics, adds Hudson. This could undermine her credibility as an employee and manager, and harm her future career prospects, and she may not be trusted to recruit again.

“Conducting training with Tag will distract Rachel’s attention from her own job, and negatively affect her productivity,” she warns. 

Employers need robust hiring processes, and vacancies require detailed job descriptions to match people to roles rather than mould a job around a candidate, says Hudson, who advises organisations to train all those with recruitment responsibilities. “Hiring and interviewing are not easy skills,” she says. “Learning how to ask appropriate questions, what not to ask and how to probe interviewees is vital.”

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