At the beginning, JetBlue management set the tone for themselves that they would be different then other airlines. To do that they set values for all employees from top to bottom to follow and they set up an attractive pay and a unique benefits package that would allow for successful recruitment and retention of employees, while significantly reducing the chance of a union moving into the organization.
Equal Employment Opportunity Laws
There are certain Equal Employment Opportunity laws that every employer should be aware of and use as guidelines when developing a working relationship with employees and perspective employees. These laws protect employers and employees and enhance the overall association between the two. Three Equal Opportunity laws that impact JetBlue’s hiring practices are:
Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Amended 1972
One of many Equal Employment Opportunity laws, the Civil Rights Act may be the most important law as it prohibits an employer from discriminating against an individual based on race, religion, color, sex, and age. This protection from discrimination covers the areas of “hiring, firing, promoting, compensation, or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.” (Mondy, 2008)
Americans With Disabilities Act, 1990
Simply put, this law prohibits employers from discriminating against anyone with a qualified disability. This law establishes that an employer must make reasonable accommodations for a disabled person in the workforce that does not create an undue hardship to the employer. Examples of those accommodations are updating facilities to meet the needs of the disabled employee; adjusting work schedules; and updating equipment that a disabled employee could use.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Amended 1978, 1986 This law was created to protect employees over the age of 40 from employment discrimination based on age. The law also prohibits employers from forcing employees into retirement. The Age Discrimination Employment Act applies to both employees and job applicants.
JetBlue’s Recruitment Efforts
A key internal recruitment effort that JetBlue used was to seek referrals from existing employees. This effort is best illustrated with the pilots. JetBlue set out to hire employees who fit with the organization’s vision and in return they offered employees flexible time, pay and benefits and provided the pilots with updated technology and training. The goal of setting up Values and different employment packages was to show the staff that JetBlue cared about them. This in turn caused employees to be more loyal than at other airlines and soon word-of-mouth spread and people wanted to work for JetBlue. According to Dave Berger, JetBlue COO, “the happy pilots were a great source for recruiting their friends from competing airlines.” (Hoffer, 2001)
Externally, JetBlue placed one classified ad in a Salt Lake City newspaper seeking interested applicants for the position of reservations agents. This “single local advertisement” resulted in JetBlue hiring over 500 reservations agents and collecting “a waiting list of 2,500 interested applicants”. (Hoffer, 2001)The one advertisement was so successful because it enticed prospective employees with a flexible work schedule, standard pay with a bonus if they took calls whenever needed, and they provided computers and necessary equipment to the staff members so they could all work from home.
JetBlue’s Personnel Selection
JetBlue created five Values that would be used to make decisions in all areas of the organization including Human Resources. Those Values are Safety; Caring, Integrity; Fun; and Passion. JetBlue then went into detail with the Values to develop standards of “desirable and undesirable behaviors” (Hoffer, 2001) and used those standards in asking prospective employees about past behavior. JetBlue set out to hire people who best fit those Values. When interviewing an applicant...
References: Hoffer, J.G and O’Reilly, C. (2001). JetBlue Airways: Starting from Scratch. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing. Pp. 58-77 (Hoffer, 2001)
Mondy, R.W. (2008). Human Resources Management. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Pearson, Prentice Hall. (Mondy, 2008)
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