Arapahoe Community College
Critique of a Company’s Selection Procedures
Daniel E. Shalik
“Selection is the process of making a “hire” or “no hire” decision regarding each applicant for a job.” (Luis R. Gomez-Mejia) Selection is the second step in the hiring process after recruiting has been completed to assemble the most qualified candidates. The selection tools used in choosing the correct candidates for the job vary in different organizations. How a company approaches the selection process in their choice of tools depend on various situational factors including the economy, diversity and legal considerations. Although there are many selection tools available, the tools that are used by hiring managers have a distinct and direct correlation to the company mission statement which reflects the culture of the company. The selection tools that are available in which not all are used by every company “include letters of recommendations, application forms, ability tests, personality tests, psychological tests, interviews, assessment centers, drug tests, honesty tests, reference checks, and handwriting analysis”. (Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, The Selection Process )
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver is a not for profit community based organization established in 1978. The company mission statement “is to promote and advance the growth of Hispanic business”. (Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver) I had the fortuitous opportunity to interview Erika Reyes, Director of Marketing and Communications of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. I was interested in knowing what was the selection tool that the not for profit company used in hiring personnel. Just as important were the techniques and procedures that the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce utilized. Erika Reyes was quick to point out to me that the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce practiced what they preached ranking diversity foremost as an ethical consideration in their hiring practices. “Diversity exists among members of the Chamber of Commerce” she went on to say that there are members of all sexes and races in their organization. I was not only interested in Erika’s role as a Hispanic but as a women working in a Hispanic organization. Cultural affiliations to a male dominated old boys’ network existed in the Hispanic community mirroring the rest of society. Upward mobility for women in the organization stagnated to the point that former women in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce formed their own Chamber of Commerce called the Latina Chamber of Commerce in 2005. This is an important fact to be recognized because of the internal legal issues that all organizations face even in protected class not for profit companies. Erika also noted that the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was active in celebrating the anniversary of the passage of the Equal Pay Act and were quick to recognize that inequities that still existed in many jobs even today.
Economic considerations have played a role in hiring in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in lieu of the recession that the United States had been immersed in the past few years. Erika Reyes noted that this has actually opened up opportunities in the Hispanic community as they have witnessed an increase in the formation of small businesses as entrepreneurship has been embraced. Increases in re-training and educational pursuits have been sought out through their agency. Ms. Reyes also stated that a foundation for Education has been formed to help those in the community seeking to enhance their learning. The main focus and challenge that her organization faces today is scheduling events that do not interfere with family caretaking activities. The main priority for members in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver is the family. Potential candidates applying to work for this agency would have to place family high on their priority list. This is not true for all corporations where their selection tools for hiring are more in line with the company mission statements and business cultures that do not include the family social configurations as active ingredients to achieve success in their organizations.
Legal strategies in which employment decisions are affected include affirmative action. Affirmative action is simply “a strategy intended to achieve fair employment by urging employers to hire certain groups of people who were discriminated against in the past”. (Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, Affirmative Action ) “The one situation in which affirmative action is not permitted is during layoffs”. (Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, Affirmative Action )
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 “requires the same pay for men and women who do the same job in the same organization”. (Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, The Equal Pay Act of 1963) This law should be foremost in hiring manager’s decision making processes as it applies to selection criteria as well. When determining the pay for an individual doing the same type of work compensations standards should be equal regardless of sex. A pay gap exists even today despite this law even though the gap has narrowed. For example, “ a 30 year old sales representative earned $60,000 in 2001, whereas their female counterparts in sales doing the same amount and same kind of work earned only $36,000 at the same age” (Strout)
Employers should be wary of their hiring practices as to not discriminate against an individual because of their race, color, religion, national origin, or sex as pertaining to the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Other Federal laws that hiring managers should be aware of is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act amended in 1978, Vocational Rehabilitations Act 1973, Privacy Act1974, Pregnancy Discrimination Act 1978, Title VII, Mandatory Retirement Act1978, Immigration Reform and Control Act 1986, Polygraph Protection Act 1988, Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act 1988, Americans with Disabilities Act 1990, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 1993, Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. (Stephen P. Robbins)
In an article written by Jenny Deam of the Denver Post entitled, “Despite Woman’s Gains, Mothers Still Face Hiring Obstacles” disparagement of treatment towards women with a family is evident in studies by Cornell University. (Deam) Dick Gartrell, as director of human resources at Denver University, runs seminars to teach hiring managers good hiring practices. Gartrell has stated that employers complain when they cannot use “parenthood [issues] to influence hiring decisions.” (Deam) Seventeen years after the Family Medical Leave Act has been made the law of the land there is still resistance to it. Employers are fearful of losing lost time due to leave if they hire employees with families especially young children. I believe that depending on the culture of the work environment especially pertaining to their mission statement of an organization, that acceptance towards the adherence of Federal labor laws differentiates.
Gartrell also explains that there is “no federal law prohibiting a potential employer from asking a woman – or man – about their family” (Deam) but in the textbook “Supervision Today” it is highly recommended that questions about an applicant’s family or marital status should not be asked. (Stephen P. Robbins, Interview Questions You Shouldn’t Ask ) Inappropriate questions should not be asked during the selection tool process of an interview session because statements made during the interview could be used against the employer in a future lawsuit if the applicant is terminated from the company.
Diversity is simply defined as “human characteristics that make people different from one another”. (D. B. Luis R. Gomez-Mejia) Erika Reyes, of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver explained to me that the Hispanic race has been discriminated against for years and in recent years the discrimination has resurfaced which pre-empts and dictates the necessity to have an open and accepting policy which does not discriminate in their organization’s hiring practices. They would not want to be guilty of the same injustices that were inflicted upon their race and it would be hypocritical if they did so. Even though their mission statement is dedicated to promoting Hispanics in the business community, they in effect help all races by establishing a congenial working environment in a diverse work force specifically in the Denver Metro community.
Diversity is a force to be reckoned with especially with the changing demographics of American society. For example in Denver, “The local Latino population, currently above 852,000, is projected to reach 1.1 million in 2019. The Denver area’s overall population is estimated to reach 4.8 million, according to forecaster IHS Global Insight” (Ostrow) According to Patti Dennis, news director of KUSA-Channel 9, “Diversity in Staff is important” because they “try to hire people so we have voices in the community for editorial discussions”. (Ostrow) It is important to note that non-whites will be the majority in 2042 and “White Americans will be a minority” (D. B. Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, Demographic Trends ) in about 20 years if current demographic trends continue.
It only makes sense for corporations to change their hiring practices to be more in line with the changing face of our society. We as Americans in business need the global economy to survive and all nations are becoming co-dependent on each other and diversity in the workplace helps achieve this goal. Diversity also stimulates change in the organization by promoting new ideas and preventing growth stagnation. The old boy’s network is fast becoming and idiom of the past and diverse protected class employees are rising through the ranks of organizations and are starting their own business’s changing the face of the new economy.
President Obama has constantly reminded us that we have suffered the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. CNN is reporting this week that the unemployment rate has remained steady at 10%, 4 or 5 points higher than what this country is accustomed to. The recent fallout of our financial institutions has impacted our 401K retirement plans, has caused many Americans to lose their homes and has caused major layoffs in companies especially in the Auto Industry. Hiring practices have also changed in regards to a more stringent review of candidates, reducing the amount of hiring, and using less financial resources available to recruit individuals.
“The number of unemployed Americans has soared, to 12.5 million last month, from 7 million when the recession began” (Rugaber) Companies have resorted to inventing new ways of recruiting highly qualified candidates by using less expensive advertising techniques as the internet is used more frequently and traditional outlets of job hunting such as newspapers are on the decline. The positive effect of the bad economy has stimulated the rise in small businesses, and more qualified candidates are now in the pool of resources of applicants looking for positions in companies. New hiring opportunities are being created by smaller financial companies closing while larger established companies have grown. Low budget stores such as Family Dollar has seen an increase in profits as consumers are becoming thriftier and have seen an increase in hiring as a result of the recession. (Rugaber) Erika Reyes, of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver has increased her efforts in her organization to help community members with job searches. Many members of the current work force and those who have been laid off have been returning to school to retrain and update their skills. Many Americans believe that this will increase their odds of not being laid off and makes them more employable for another organization if necessary. The emphasis has been on education and an increased need for teachers and those in educational industries have seen an increase in hiring.
When times are good and the economy is strong educational pursuits are not pursued as readily by current job holders and there are less people that need to be retrained in educational institutions. Economic considerations have a direct impact on hiring considerations and the tools implemented that are put in use especially when human resource budgets shrink. The economic downfall has shifted resources to accommodate the change and slowly the economy is crawling back to normal levels.
Three different perspectives of a company’s hiring selection procedure including legal and economic considerations and diversity are important to every organization’s human resource manager’s criteria for establishing protocol within their work environment. I believe that I have shown that a company has to change their corporate culture to be more amiable to current trends in diversity, legal and economic considerations if they want to promote a successful business structure. The mission statement of a company is important for prospective employees to review as it reveals what type of culture is evident in the organization. Hiring managers need to be cognoscente of current Federal laws, impending laws and be open to change and diversity while at the same time being prudent with economic decisions.
Selection Process – Page 1
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – Page 1-3
Legal Considerations – Page 3-4
Diversity – Page 5-6
Economic Considerations – Page 6-7
Conclusion – Page 7-8
Works Cited – Page 10-11
Deam, Jenny. "Despite women’s gains, mothers still face hiring obstacles." 16 Februrary 2006. AZCentral.com. 6 May 2010 <http://www.azcentral.com/families/articles/0216momswork0216.html?&wired>.
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver. Denver Hispanic Chamber of Coimmerce. 1 January 2009. 6 May 2010 <http://www.hispanicchamberdenver.org/>.
Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, David B. Balkin, Robert L. Cardy. "Affirmative Action ." Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, David B. Balkin, Robert L. Cardy. Managing Human Resources . Upper Saddle River : Prentice Hall , 2010. 91.
Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, David B. Balkin, Robert L. Cardy. "The Equal Pay Act of 1963." Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, David B. Balkin, Robert L. Cardy. Managing Human Resources . Upper Saddle River : Prentice Hall , 2010. 92.
Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, David B. Balkin, Robert L. Cardy. "The Hiring Process ." Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, David B. Balkin, Robert L. Cardy. Managing Human Resources . Upper Saddle River : Prentice Hall , 2010. 161.
Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, David B. Balkin, Robert L. Cardy. "The Selection Process ." Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, David B. Balkin, Robert L. Cardy. Managing Human Resources . Upper Saddle River : Prentice Hall , 2010. 184.
Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, David B.Balkin, Robert L. Cardy. "Demographic Trends ." Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, David B.Balkin, Robert L. Cardy. Managing Human Resources . Upper Saddle River : Prentice Hall , 2010. 125-126.
Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, David B.Balkin, Robert L. Cardy. "What is Diversity? ." Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, David B.Balkin, Robert L. Cardy. Managing Human Resources . Upper Saddle River : Prentice Hall , 2010. 124.
Ostrow, Joanne. "Denver Media Expects Census to Fuel Demand for Latino Outlets ." 20 April 2010. DenverPost.com. 6 May 2010 <http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_14917534>.
Rugaber, Christopher S. "Even in a Recession Some Companies Are Hiring." 11 March 2009. DenverPost.com. 6 May 2010 <http://www.denverpost.com/theeconomy/ci_11881169>.
Stephen P. Robbins, David A. DeCenzo. "Interview Questions You Shouldn’t Ask ." Stephen P. Robbins, David A. DeCenzo. Supervision Today! . Upper Saddle River : Prentice Hall , 2010. 121.
Stephen P. Robbins, David A. DeCenzo. "The Legal Environment of HRM." Stephen P. Robbins, David A. DeCenzo. Supervision Today! . Upper Saddle River : Prentice Hall , 2010. 112.
Strout, E. "Tough Sell, Sales and Marketing Management ." Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, David B. Balkin, Robert L. Cardy. Managing Human Resources . Upper Saddle River : Prentice Hall , 2010. 92.