I was reading a trade industry article online and came across a question from another recruiter, I thought the question would spark a robust yet healthy dialogue. I would love to get your thoughts, read on….

Dear Staffing: Dude Dressed Like A Lady, Now What?!

= = = = =

“I never, I repeat, NEVER thought that I would come across this issue in all my years of staffing but here I am and I haven’t the slightest what to do about it. I always told myself that it would not make a difference but now I am not so sure.

Yesterday I had an interview scheduled with Jasmine Delaney (name changed for anonymity). I had spoken to Jasmine on the phone and received her resume. I explained that I had a few openings in mind but the next step in this process was to have her come in to interview and get set up with the paperwork, that way I can begin to send her to clerical assignments that would best fit her experience.

She came in but she was a he dressed like a she. Silence. Awkward smile, then I pulled it together and treated her like an other applicant.

I think I held the interview with professionalism. We went through the typing test and personality test to have in the system. The employers I had in mind required it. I have some pretty laid back clients, some great people with a wonderful work environment but how do I know where Jasmine will fit in? I have no client that I know of who openly accepts transgender applicants.

There is no chance of Jasmine passing as a natural female. None.

I don’t want to discriminate but I don’t have any clients who wouldn’t laugh me out and call me up to ask me if this wasn’t a practical joke. At first I was thinking Jasmine would make a great internal receptionist but I know I would loose my job if I were to even suggest it now. What do I do? Where or how do I place a qualified office professional that happens to be transgender?

I’m at a complete loss. Have you ever heard of this and how staffing companies handle it? Are there transgender specific staffing agencies? I asked at work and my boss may not be the best person to ask, her answer was beyond wrong.

Please help, Wanting to do the right thing.”

Would love to know everyone's thoughts

Views: 86

Tags: diversity, inclusion, lgbt, recruiter, staffing, transgender

Comment by Amy Ala on November 8, 2012 at 12:36pm

Believe it or not I had this same thing happen to me when I was managing a staffing office. My candidate, "Lori" (not her real name) had been a six and a half foot tall linebacker and father in her previous life. There was no doubt that "Lori" didn't start out that way.

 

I didn't know what to do. She was perfectly qualified for a few of our roles, so I sent her to a client I liked and trusted. I gave him a heads up that he may be surprised by her appearance (she had a love of short skirts and high heels... great legs too) but to please not judge. He couldn't help himself. She lasted 3 days before he evoked client privilege and asked me for replacement since she just wasn't a "cultural fit".

 

About that time my (former) company was going through MAJOR financial problems and was in the process of being bought. All of our paychecks (mine and my contractors) started to bounce. My entire staff quit and I barely managed to keep 1/3 of my contractors on board with the promise of petty cash draws and a lot of begging / pleading. I had no one left to work in the office with me and couldn't manage it completely alone. Guess who was there to help.... LORI. Best damn receptionist I ever had. I kept her with me for about a month until the sale went through and we were back in business. My boss freaked out when he came up from CA and met her for the first time. I freaked out back and told him as long as paychecks were bouncing I'd hire whoever in the hell I pleased. It is Seattle, after all.

 

Eventually we rehired full time staff and Lori moved on. I gave her a great reference.

Comment by Bianca Eder on November 12, 2012 at 1:18pm

I happened to me as well. Twice I think.

When I met with Sandra ( not her real name) , we figured it out once I saw her passport. Or let's say then there was no doubt about the fact that Sandra used to be a man. I was straight up with her and also asked her how she found the job hunt going. so she told me about her problems as well and that it was important for her to come into an enviornment that would accept her. So, I told her that I would give my clients the heads up, and make sure she would be in an environment that would treat with the same as any other employee.

She got placed and turned out to be a darn good employee. I think it is all about managing expectations on both sides. And about feeling comfortable about it yourself. I really didn't care about the fact that she used to be a guy, god knows she had enough to deal with already. And she was a great candidate. And that was all that mattered for me.

What I did though was really make a choice to which clients I would introduce her, and be honest on all sides.

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