Discrimination Is a Likely Occurrence During the Recruitment Process

Topics: Discrimination, Affirmative action, Human resource management Pages: 8 (2417 words) Published: March 29, 2013
Discrimination is likely during the recruitment process. The online Oxford Dictionaries (2010) defines discrimination as “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex”. On the other hand, Townley (1989: 97) argues that recruitment “involves a process of discrimination”, and it was found that in most situations, the discrimination that takes place during the recruitment process is not “unjust”. In this essay, authors are drawn upon to support the argument that discrimination is a necessary and justified part of the recruitment process. The level of discrimination may vary, however, depending largely on the type of industry the organisation hiring is categorised in. From this, prospective employees are scrutinised based on their skills and/or characteristics. The type of industry as well as the generation of managers (i.e. baby boomers) impacts on the recruitment methodologies used. Managers may be influenced by the match of personalities, or other features of their life, between the potential employee, also known as the Just Like Me effect (Rudman 1999). This demonstrates that there may be instances where not only high levels of discrimination transpire, but unjust discrimination is practiced. Unjust prejudice that may occur revolves around the lack of understanding from, and perception and values of managers, the source of stereotyping. Encouragement of engaging in a diversified social environment will broaden views and decrease intolerance. As well, Australian laws have also been put in place to discourage bias and unjust behaviour. Thus, in general terms, the amount of discrimination that varies is justified and necessary during the recruitment process.

Industry and skill/characteristic
Schuler & Jackson (2000) developed a human resource management (HRM) strategy that involves formulating and implementing ideas and issues for managers to better conduct the recruitment process. The organisation type will influence the job, which in turn will guide the different skills and/or characteristics needed. The human capital advantage (HCA), derived from Alvesson (2004: 139-141), refers to the advantage an organisation will have against competition when hiring the right employees with the skills, knowledge and/or characteristics.

A case study where the human resources director of Experienced Records, David Marsh, describes that their sales and marketing team “need a strong, vibrant personality for this job … [as] people who are able to project themselves, to infuse and enthuse customers” (O’Dortherty 2006: 77). The music industry involves exposure to the public eye where appearances and personality is important. This supports the conclusion of Watson (1996), that managers may look for people who possess the ability to represent the company to its customers over the qualification.

It may seem the discrimination level is fairly low in the music industry compared to another industry, like accounting, for example. According to Almeida et al. (2012), accountants looking to be hired in Australia are required to have Australian accounting experience because the laws and practice are different in every country, whereas organisations that require certain social skills are more flexible when recruiting. In brief, the skills and characteristics needed for the job will depend on the type of industry and thus impact the level of discrimination.

Industry and generation
Clegg et al. (2011: 179) puts forward the theory on the generational difference as one reason for the level of discrimination occurring when recruiting. Generation X is described to be technological-skilled and is adaptable to change. For example, a contemporary style industry, such as IT, would consist more of younger managers and employees, where the level of tolerance is high and discrimination is low (Almedia et al. 2012: 1961). This implies that organisations with managers who are older may...
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