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Mirror , Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Fairest of them all?

On two separate times in the past week, my inbox contained entries which centered around the image that the corporation puts forth to the marketplace. In each one to some degree the organizations involved forgot what their purpose is -- to acquire and maintain customers. To do that we need to have the "right person, in the right job, at the right time and in the right place."

Consider these events. The first involved a cheerleader on the Baltimore Ravens. She was banned from being part of the cheerleader team at the Superbowl because she put on a pound and a half in weight. The second I received from fellow blogger, Trish McFarlane. who posted a blog reference on LinkedIn.It involved a post from the Proactive Employer in which it was reported that based on a message from G-D the HR Manager of the organization was fired after two weeks because her same-sex relationship would not look good for the organization.

Every day I see rants from employers who say that they can't find the necessary talent to fill their positions and yet they become concerned with the answer as to whether they are the fairest in the world. Trust me I know the arguments or have heard them before. When I worked in the corporate mobility world, the relocation management company competition was typically the beauty queen personage who would compete as much on the image as the solutions to the client's problems. But image does not necessarily help you find the right person for the right job in the right place at the right time. It may even be detrimental to your organization under ADA.

So the next time you have a position available consider these matters of fact for sourcing the candidate for that opening:

1. It is what they can do for you, not what they look like that is important - We are in a very competitive, rapidly changing business world. It is far more important to consider what Knowledge Performance Indicators they can bring to the table. It is not the time to select a person on the basis on whether they can compete for Miss America tomorrow.

2. Your needs are here and now in your business - Your sole concern should be finding a person with the right skills for that open slot. You can go out and hire that stereotype glamor individual and still not get the skills necessary to help the organization through these difficult economic times. He or she may lift the spirits of some of your employees but that may not mean that you are now more innovative or competitive.

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Tags: HR, Human Resources, Leadership, Management

Comment by Ryan Leary on February 4, 2013 at 9:48am

Interesting points and these are real challenges with employers today. Where is the line however? Pharma companies routinely screen for looks, dermatologists screen for sales reps without acne and door to door rep companies always send the pretty people.... 

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