Tony Pogo by The Plus Group The Plus group - Helping Staff America

Archive August 2008

Don't judge a frog by its color...

It happens to everyone at some point. Your client turns down the perfect candidate for the job you’ve been trying to fill for months. The reason? “He’s just not the right cultural fit.” *Bullfrog* anyone? Your gut is telling you otherwise, that this cultural fit rationale is code for them not liking your candidate based on some aspect of his appearance.

It’s not just about age, gender, race and weight anymore; social and attitudinal dynamics are playing a big role in discrimination too now. There are 3 generations in the workforce that all think differently and it’s beginning to develop new challenges. If your client is a conservative Baby Boomer or Gen-Xer, it’s going to be hard for them to accept the tattooed and pierced Gen-Yer’s.

Take me for example. If you haven’t noticed, I have my initials tattooed on my stomach (mom wasn’t too happy with that one) and I’m GREEN--not the most subtle of employees… but those attributes are no indication of my work abilities.

Here are some tips staffing industry veteran and expert Amy Bingham gives in a recent SI Review article, to avoid the too-quick judgments:

• Know your clients. The stronger your relationship, the more confidence your clients will have in you as the staffing expert you are, and the more likely they will be to accepting your coaching.

• Prep your clients before the interview. Let them know that your candidate isn’t typical of who the company has historically hired, and focus on the value they will bring to the organization.

• Prep your candidates. Advise them to remove earrings from visible piercings if possible, cover tattoos and ensure that long hair is tied back. Let them know if the company has historically had a conservative image, and though you respect their individuality, you want your client to focus on skills and attitude, not appearance.

• If you suspect your clients are stuck on appearance, remind them that there are three generations in the workforce with very different attitudes, and cite examples of how other clients have modified their hiring practices to ensure they remain competitive in the war for talent.

Remember that it’s human nature to resist change. But change happens, and rightfully so. Unless these attitudes are revolutionized and hiring practices adjusted, your clients will be missing out on an enormous group of unique and qualified employees and other neat opportunities. I mean, think of all the great things a tattooed amphibian could do for a company...

posted by TonyPogo at 8/19/2008 | 0 comments

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Tony PoGo is an authorized agent of The Plus Group, Inc.- providers of staffing services including long-term staff augmentation, temporary, temp-to-hire, direct placement and performance-based project work. 1-800-STAFFING -