There are some things I hesitate to write about – and this is one of them. Sometimes, in HR, we allow are hiring managers to do somethings that should get us sent straight to hell. First class ticket – and we deserve it. I have to be careful on how I phrase this one – let’s just say there is this major U.S. company that made Billions of dollars last year, and for a number of years before that. Their product is something almost all of us have used in our lifetime. And let’s just say, that maybe, once in a while (or every time) they interview someone – male or female – they “kindly” escort this person out to their safe, security-gated, parking lot, to their interviewees car. A naive HR Pro would say, “Aren’t our hiring managers nice to do that.” A savvy HR Pro would say, “Why the hell are you doing that?!”
You clicked the link with the title – so you already know why they escort candidates to their car – they want to see if the candidate has kids. Ouch. The feeling is, they don’t want to hire folks with kids, because folks with kids need more time off, and miss work more, and, well, just aren’t as engaged as non-anchor dragging childless employees. Ouch, again. There is an HR person, or two, that will be burning in hell for allowing this to continue.
And let’s continue to say, “hypothetically” that I know a person who has witnessed this type of thing happen – hypothetically. What would you tell the candidate, hypothetically? First, I’d tell them the truth! Look you are about to be judged, in a negative way, on your desire and ability to procreate. That being said, we have a couple of options: 1. You can bail on the opportunity. (Great financial opportunity – you can imagine the culture!); 2. You can clean your car out of all incriminating evidence that you have children, like children, were once a child. Hypothetically – most people are choosing #2. That surprises me a little – but it’s dependent upon the job market, personal situations, etc. A ton of factors go into people making that type of decision – I’m not judging – I’m empathetic to the cause!
Crazy right? It’s 20 and f’ing 12! We (hypothetically) have hiring managers looking for baby seats in the back of a sedan as a legitimate screening criteria for a job. God help us.
If hypothetically the above story is true and I somehow get in a terrible accident because somehow my brake lines were cut, accidentally, just know I died with a car seat in the back of minivan – I’m not hiding it for anyone! Fight the Power!
I may have allegedly sat in a debrief session where hiring managers may have been discussing a candidates viability b/c they had a special needs kid.
The look of disgust on my face was enough for the HM to ask me in a flippant tone “What?”
My response: I can’t wait for your entire team (which was all women except for the Sr Director btw) to get pregnant at the same time. Then what are you going to do?
Fast forward six months: The entire team, males and females were all expecting their first kids. Sadly, their shitty attitudes then shifted when we had to remind them that they didn’t have the carte blanche that they previously had, and they had to follow the same maternity rules…
I saw this on the 20/20 piece a few weeks back and I showed that clip in my legalities class as well. This was one I didn’t even see coming. I would have to have been lumped in the niave HR pro category. people suck…
Great post, Tim. Sadly enough, I know a few hiring managers that might look at this as a new found interviewing “best practice”. Not on my watch!
Stay golden, Pony Boy