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Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/11/2007 10:26 AM

So, I need a little help from my friends.

I am writing a project of law for Congressman Lacalle Pou about discrimination in personnel recruitment processes (to forbid it)

Have any ideas on what (or when) is discrimination?

I have a fairly good idea, but I want to have some fresh looks.

Does any of you have links to similar laws in developed countries?

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#1

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/11/2007 11:43 AM

Hi:

It is to my understanding that the lobbyists here have used the Congressmen to pass laws that make discrimination against native born citizens in favor of the Off - Shore ones???

Should this be true the lack of funding for local employees will not ever end. The company I was working for had local educational funding frozen for the last two years, while expanding their Off-Shore staff by 300% The company then imported those trained workers to do local work.

Since the smaller companies in the industry fallow the big ones in form and function there will not be a relief from this till we get the bad laws repealed and the Congressmen who wrote them strung up in the wind?

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#2

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/11/2007 1:28 PM

I'm sorry to say I think it's a huge waste of time and money.... unless the candiates are virtually identical it is almost imossible to prove discrimination (on unlawful grounds).

Indeed the recruitment process is bassed on discrimination...by definition!

one is trying to discriminate betwwen the good potential employee and the bad.

There are a million subtle factors that influnce one. We are pre-disposed to select people who look like us or who we find attractive. The guy you don't choose could be due to the length of his hair or his aftershave or his sense of humour.

We have had many threads about interview technique...someone said 'make sure you have new well shined shoes'

If I get rejected and I happen to be wearing sandals is this discrimination?

Don't get me wrong..I abhor discrimination, but it's impossible to enforce..

There is the very old and un-pc story about when confronted with 2 identical female candidates you choose the one with the biggest breasts.

A crude over simplification...but not without a grain of truth.

I just fear you will waste time and money which could help the oppressed .. which will instead end up in the lawyers pockets.

And which lawyer would I recruit? .... the dead one.

(this isn't supposed to offend anyone....oppologies in advance if it does)

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#9
In reply to #2

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 1:32 AM

Most of the companies in the Silicon Valley hire just about anybody, regardless of race, color, creed, sexual preference, or national origin. Plane and simple, we need talented people!!!

The one thing I've discriminated against (I have to confess), is anyone that comes across to me as if their s*%t don't stink!!! At least to me, that type of arrogance is a dead giveaway that I will have trouble with you down the road, which I don't need!!!

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#11
In reply to #2

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 5:12 AM

Del, I like your post very much, I feel it's right at the point.

Gussosa, I'm afraid persuing this you might eventually infringe a basic right of human being - the freedom of choice.

Stock Manager sounds very good, but it might be not simply counting screws or inputting data into computer, it might involves moving heavy stuffs arround, thus not quite fit for a nice girl. (I assume the girl did not have a bodybuilding figure, did she? Have you noticed?)

Similarly, I believe I have the right to reject a methodist, if I hear that his church/congregation or denomination is famous about heretic teaching, or abuse, or not paying tax..., you name it. I don't think that's a crime.

Or don't I?

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#14
In reply to #2

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 10:18 AM

I agree with you. All of the laws that are written will only go so far. If a company wants to try to eliminate discrimination during the hiring process, they can use multiple people to interview. But consider this. If my company is looking to hire an assembler of wall clocks. Given the following choices who will get the job?

1) A gentleman with fifteen years experience assembling wall clocks.

2) Another gentleman who appears to be homosexual.

3) A woman just recently married.

The gentleman with fifteen years looks like the right choice. But he is sixty two years old. He may not work long enough to be worth the hiring and training costs.

The man that appears to be homosexual would be fine, but there is sure to be problems from the other assemblers that have to work with him.

The woman could be a long term employee, but she might choose to have children, and then the company will loose her to maternity leave for long periods.

And all will be sure that the company discriminated against them.

There is no clear way to eliminate discrimination on any individual circumstance.

Good luck.

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 10:28 AM

For me, it is clear you should hire the old gentleman, because he is the only one qualified.

Technical qualifications and personality are the only that matters here in your example.

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 10:35 AM

Absolutely, but how profitable is it to invest company money in an employee that might only stay a year or two and retire.

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 10:40 AM

Then make a second call.

If you need a mechanic but you only get electricians as candidates, you shouldn't hire any of them.

But in this case I stick to the old man. If he knows the work, you won't be wasting money training him. He is ready for use.

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#25
In reply to #20

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 3:21 PM

Employer need not waste money on training the experienced guy however old he is , in fact he can train junior employes at fractional cost as it becomes routine system

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#29
In reply to #14

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/14/2007 11:13 AM

Gentleman 1..would hardly need training! D'uh..

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#30
In reply to #14

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/16/2007 9:57 AM

Perhaps my choice of words was wrong. If we can agree to use the term orientation (as in orientating a new employee to the new work location procedures) instead of "training". I think my intent would have been more clear. Sorry for the error.

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/16/2007 10:30 AM

Ok, switch made. Anyway, an employee with former experience wouldn't require more than one month of adaptation. The other choices could take from six months to one year, because they also require training.

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/17/2007 12:22 AM

I've heard that things are still kind of funky in Brazil. The lighter your skin is the better your chances of getting hired and visa versa. Is this true?

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/17/2007 1:47 PM

Hi Vermin

I live in Uruguay. I know a lot about Brazil because I am kinda half brazilian and most of my suppliers are from Brazil, but I haven't lived there, so I can't really tell you how hard is the discrimination there.

On the other hand, I can present you the data supplied by Cinterfor (the observatory of the Internation Labour Organization). The article is in spanish, but the link to the site is in english.

The article says:

In 2001 Brazil's general unemployment was 9%, but among women (all races) it was 14.22% In the same year, the unemployment among black people was 10.2% and specifically for black women it was 13.8%

49.8% of the white people worked in the informal sector of the economy. For the black people it was 59.9%

The differences in salaries are, from better to worse:

  1. White men
  2. Black men
  3. White women
  4. Black women

They don't give any numbers on this issue.

Apparently it is true that things are harder for black people. I don't get impressed by the numbers on unemployment, because even a 2% can be a mere accident. However, the 10% of presence in the informal sector is alarming. That means that black people tend to take jobs without social security or health insurance, in precarious conditions.

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#3

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/11/2007 1:38 PM

Discrimination is selecting one candidate over another (for any reason).

"When" is the moment in time a selection is made.

There are two forms of discrimination. One is legal and the other is illegal.

Legal discrimination is when there is a law that says you must choose a lesser qualified candidate over a better qualified candidate.

Illegal discrimination is when you choose a lessor qualified candidate over a better qualified candidate and legal discrimination does not apply. Illegal discrimination is also when you choose a better qualified candidate over a lessor qualified candidate when legal discrimination applies.

The bottom line is that anytime you make a decision between two or more 'anythings' you are discriminating. The trick in employment is to make the decision based on what is best for the business's profit and growth. Unfortunately, the law does not always allow that.

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#4

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/11/2007 3:02 PM

The problem is when the company chooses a lesset qualified candidate over a better qualified, based on reasons that are not related to the profit of the company.

For example, years ago I saw a girl entering a hardware store and asking to leave her resume for the job of Stock Manager (counting screws and entering the data in the computer). The clerk/owner rejected her (wihout even looking at the resume) saying the job was for men only. And she left without even insulting him!

That's the kind of discrimination I am fighting against.

I don't mind if you hire a christian methodist boy you met at the church, recommended by the priest. My problem would be with the businessman who hires the non-best candidate just because he is methodist.

I experienced something similar when I was hired for a job last year by a woman who thought I was a member of the Frente Amplio Party (somewhat communist) when in fact I am a liberal and member of the White Party. I had to hide and lie about my political opinions (and there were political discussions all the time) to avoid upsetting the boss.

What about a 45 years old executive who can't find a new job because he is "out of the age"?

My ideas for now are:

  1. Forbid gender specifications on job openings.
  2. Forbid age specifications on job openings.
  3. Forbid appearance specifications on job openings.

That would cover about all flagrant unreasonable discrimination that is openly practiced today.

Then, I would state that, if a person considers that he or she has been a victim of discrimination, he or she may issue a complain at the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry will prosecute the company.

The accused will have to prove that the candidate chosen is the best one, according to the position, or at least that the chosen candidate is not clearly inferior to any other. If they can't, they will be fined.

If they are found guilty several times (I still don't know how many) they will be prosecuted for hatred crimes.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/11/2007 3:10 PM

Your aims are admirable, but it is sooo dificult to prove such cases...what about nepotism and reverse discrimination ?

At my last company we hired a Chinese designer because it looked good to have a Chinese phD on board... ( was wasn't much good... didnt have the wit to paint an optical measuring rig matt black having had the model shop machine it out of nice shiny alluminium )

Does it mean we were racially discriminating against the other candidates?

Too tricky for me I'll stick to engineering.

Good luck

Del

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#17
In reply to #5

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 10:29 AM

"Too tricky for me I'll stick to engineering."

That's exactly what I would advice.

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#8
In reply to #4

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/11/2007 11:59 PM
  1. Forbid gender specifications on job openings.
  2. Forbid age specifications on job openings.
  3. Forbid appearance specifications on job openings.

Gender does/ does not include Sexual orientation?

Religious affiliation?

Ethnicity?

WHat about supporters of "the other" football team?You know what I mean.

HAndicap status? Honest- I once responded to an opening for a uilding inspector job- had to be able bodied. the ex marine doing the hiring gave the job to a disabled - you guessed it - 'veteran' who could nt even get in and out of the van by himself, let alone drive himself to work, don't even think about navigate a job site.

My qualifications just weren't up to "disabled veteran" service status.

Not sure how / who actually inspected the buildings, but it sure wasn't the guy with the hand controls.

Nor me.

milo

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#15
In reply to #8

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 10:23 AM

I just listed the most common specifications on job openings that are clearly discriminatory.

Gender doesn't include sexual orientation. It could happen, but I can't immagine a company being openly discriminatory against gays, lesbians and transgenders. However, they usually conceal the prejudices against them in the "appearance" requirement. That way they can reject that tall transvestite because "he" simply doesn't look good in a pale green tailleur.

I haven't seen yet an opening advertisement stating "straight only" or "jewish faith is mandatory" or "native american race is a con". Again, they usually hide that in "appearance". There is an study made in Peru by the ILO that proves it.

I am open to allow physical fitness tests. If you are recruiting construction workers (for example) tell the candidates to do 30 pushups and 10 bars. BUT DON'T BAN MEN AND WOMEN OVER 30 YEARS OLD!

In the case of that girl who was rejected as a Stock Manager, I wouldn't reject her just for being a woman. if there is a real need for physical fitness (like a Guest suggested) I would tell her to lift a box of screws or some pipes. I do that frecuently and I know it is a tough job. Not everybody (not even men) can do it. However, you must give everyone a chance to prove his/her capabilities.

The case you mention is different. A guy in wheelchair or crutches simply can't do a job that requires freedom of movement, like getting into sewers or climbing to a roof. The interviewer should explain the guy the situation and, if the guy insists, the interviewer would allow him to try to get into a sewer and get out by himself.

You made me remember an interview (Supervisor in a logystics company) I had long ago where they asked me about my faith. I am an atheist, so I lied and said I was catholic believing that the mainstream thing would be better. I failed anyway. A friend told me they wanted a corrupt person because that company was doing a lot of dirty things. I don't know if it was the religion thing or simply that I am an (almost completely) honest guy and the tests showed that. Obviously I wasn't dirty enough for them.

The interviews are a problem too. Not so bad, but still a problem. Given the discrimination against mothers (more if they are single), maybe there should be a "family situation privacy" article. In the case of men there is discrimination against singles, because family men are forced to tollerate much more pressure in order to feed the kids. And also they use that "family" questions to detect gays and lesbians.

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#10
In reply to #4

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 1:37 AM

Number three is a hard one... When do you say to yourself (as a hiring manager), that the appearance of the recruit is a natural expression of that person's lifestyle, and when is it an "I don't care attitude." That's tough!!!

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#13
In reply to #4

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 9:52 AM

"The accused will have to prove that the candidate chosen is the best one..."

I am glad we don't have your legal system. Here in the US the burden of proof lies with the prosecutor to prove guilt, not the accused to prove innocence.

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#19
In reply to #13

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 10:37 AM

Yes, yes, yes, yes.

In general the legal system is about the same. In Uruguay we just don't use precedents. Any judge is free to decide what he thinks the best, without paying attention to colleagues.

However, all over the world, the labour laws are different. Every system recognizes there is an asimmetry of power between the worker and the company, and the system inclines the balance in favor of the worker to correct the asimmetry.

Check your laws against unjustified firing. The company has to prove the firing was justifiable, because for the employee it would be almost impossible to PROVE he or she was doing a good job. However, to prove the mistakes of a person is much easier.

In this case happens the same. It is impossible for a candidate to prove he or she was the best, but the company may easily prove there was a better one.

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#6

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/11/2007 4:49 PM

Canada has some of the best Anti-discrimination laws. Here is a quick reference guide with a lot of links listed

http://www.naalc.org/migrant/english/pdf/mgcanemd_en.pdf

It is all based on the CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS which is embedded in the constitution and has become the highest law in the country. It has the power of overriding most all other Acts of Parliament. see: http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/const/annex_e.html#I

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#7

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/11/2007 5:35 PM

Age, Race, Sex, Religion, Ancestral Origin, Sexual Preference, Handicap

Laws can be written but its human nature to have first impressions and to discriminate. It is hard to see something that is different that you are and not have some reservations.

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#12
In reply to #7

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 7:23 AM

Then there is the concept of quota,

Quota is when your employee profile in terms of women, races, genders etc must mirror the population.

which brings up tokenism.

A token is the person with no employee value who is hired to satisfy a quota demand by locals.

Left handed, female, gay, black, Jewish, blind, deaf, mute, and disabled being the quintessential token employee.

Seriously, if the population in your area is 25% hispanic, 25% asian, 25% black and 25% white you will need to recruit from those groups to satisfy quota, without barring people by gender, sexual orientation, etc. For this you will need a neutral interview capacity with a neutral test procedure for people to fill in. This typically uses a number for the person, so the person examining the test results cannot bar anyone by name linked attributes, like Mr Chung, Mr Assam or Mr Weinstein bring to your minds eye. Most technical people are easy to assess. Filing clerks, receptionists etc, are easier, you must also use he right people to conduct the interview, young engineers in double breasted suits will hire young women with double breasted abilities (Darwin at work?). Middle aged women might populate the office with dragons, to reduce the competition.

smaller places attract less political over sight than large emploters. If you have 1000 employees in an area with that 25-25-25-25% makeup, above, and 90% of your employees are from one group...strangely, the same as management, you will obviously be guilty of discrimination unless you have some of these neutral tests in place that show that you have to have that 90% because people in the other three groups fail. In simple assembly and warehousing there is no real reason to not hire anyone for the job, so the entrance test is easy. For high end tech/accounts/managerial jobs it is common for 99% of applicants to fail. (1 job, 100 applicants) In addition, many people apply for jobs they are not qualified for on the hope their reference will not be properly checked. Those people can also be easily checked by their degree granting institution as well, as long as they come from a reputable place and not a diploma mill.

Large numbers of people use diplomas from these mills when they apply in Canada and come from an Asian country in the hope you will not be able to check a foreign reference. Some of these guys look OK on paper, and if you hire them they will get a few weeks/months wages out of you before they are booted and maybe a lawsuit for discrimination will follow?? Most universities are well aware of these diploma mills as they get many people applying for advanced standing on the basis for their PhD from codswallop U in India, and they have a list of reputable foreign institutions that you can ask if CU is on the list. If it is on the list, a request in writing to verify the CV with a copy of the degree will allow them to confirm standing. (client letter of permission needed too).

You must also make sure the laws are not a beurocratic nightmare designed to add to a political empire that will need 100 'crats to be hired and cause employers to fill in paper work of all types, and delay things.

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#22
In reply to #12

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 1:16 PM

I don't like the concept of quota. I prefer to use the concept of reincidence to target on companies that might be suspicious of having a culture of discrimination.

Having a quota might take you to hire less qualified individuals just because they are black, for example.

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#26
In reply to #22

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 3:38 PM

Quota system lies with political system , often talents are waved away from there fields expertise ,and also talents are not utilised to there potential. Experienced individual coming from different company often finds it difficult to cop within the present company system

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#27
In reply to #22

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 3:54 PM

quota systems are lawyer drive, esp in USA, where they look at large firms and take pictures of the work force as they leave a create a profile of how many women, black, Asian etc make up the force. Based on this they solicit people to try for jobs and assess their experience in being rejected/hired and file a class action.

browse among these 1,900,000 hits.

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=labor+%2B%22class+action%22&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

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#21

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 1:02 PM

As many have indicated, this whole topic is lawyer bait and will keep law firms busy forever.

Back in the 60s, I was visiting in St. Louis with a contractor friend. He told of a large cement contractor who had been visited by a very demanding representative of a large racial minority group.

The Rep DEMANDED that the employees of the contractor must immediatley represent the 1/3 of the local population that his people comprised. The contractor politely asked if the gent were serious?

"You bet your XXX we are", and if you don't respond immediately, we will picket all your work sites.

The company president called in his Human Resources VP and asked her to immediatley comply with request and report back to him with the results in 20 minutes.

She returned with her report in 15 minutes. "Done!" she reported, but we had to fire twenty good men to comply.

The demanding minority rep was impressed. "How did you select them" he asked.

"Easy!" she said. Half of our employees were from your group. Since you wanted 1/3, we just canned the latest hires from your group until we had just 1/3 left.

1967 I recall.

I'm also in Silicon Valley, but involved with Medical devices. My companies hire based on expected contribution, not age, race, who you know, or what you look like you might be or believe. Our field is still small enough that we can get strong recommendation from our network. HR watches the Ps and !s, but hiring teams have the final word.

Steve the BuyerGuy

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#24
In reply to #21

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 2:49 PM

A prime example of the law of unintended consequences...

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#23

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 2:41 PM

As a person at the top of the technical classification I was often recruited by the manager to assist in the recruiting process. The team would generally consist of an HR person, the group manager, and a senior technical person. In Alberta Canada there are several questions that we were not allowed to ask and things that applicants were not allowed to put on their resumes.

You could not ask about religion, politics, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, marital status, birth control practises of women, language spoken at home (it might reveal ethnic origin), etc. It was OK for an applicant to say that they maintained their church data base but they could not identify the church for which they maintained the data base. Likewise they could say that they were we involved with an ethnic organization but not which ethnic organization. I believe that age discrimination came into affect at 55 years.

The HR folks had prepared an interview checklist which helped in scoring the applicants and the system worked quite well.

Before the actual interviews there was the resume review which was usually quite easy to separate the sheep from the goats.

As I remember though we had to get permission from the applicant to do a criminal records check.
I do remember one case where it came to a tie on technical grounds and the decision was made based on the person's outside activities, he had achieved a relatively high rank for his age in the reserves which said that he had some drive. It turned out to be a good decision.

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#28

Re: Discrimination in recruitment processes

10/12/2007 6:30 PM

A person that has been discriminated against for racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, age or religious reasons are not interested in quotas. There some here that are taking that discussion a little too far. I would say most would want fairness. I say this as someone who has lived under Jim Crow and been denied opportunities because of discrimination.

Those attributes, that I and others here have mentioned here, are the ones you should be concerned with. In order to reduce the incidence of this in recruitment and hiring, I think there should be some discussion with the people who will be doing this. They need to know exactly what you mean by discrimination and make them aware of what is expected and that if it appears they aren't following the guidelines, they will have further discussions which may be disciplinary. I don't think it is hard for people to understand racism and sexism or any other discriminatory practice.

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