May 6; Age and Race and Gender Always Matter;
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Five: Hiring; 6 May

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young…

1 Timothy 4:12a

Age and Race and Gender always matter

Obstacles

Should anything be considered other than competence and a track record in the hiring process?

How about the untouchable, unmentionables? What some progressive consultants go all third-railing about? To wit:

Years Old, Skin Color, Gender.

Indeed, would the young Saint Timothy get hired?

Well maybe the Alert Manager would retain him. It is not just what’s on the resume, what’s on paper; it’s the whole person who should be considered.

This philosophy sounds like something from a progressive affirmative-action quota cry-baby.

Wrong. It was suggested decades ago by William Bradford “Brad” Reynolds who was the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1981-1988, in the Reagan administration.

Why?

When I began my clumsy attempt at managerial responsibilities I was the classic by-the-book bureaucrat. I did not deviate: Should not a job position be filled based on qualifications alone? Should not we hire only the candidate who has the most complete job application matching that human resource holy trinity of Knowledge, Skills and Abilities?

I didn’t know any better. Like most young managers.

I was a slow learner. But I adopted the job interview process that embraced the track record of persistence of the job seeker.

***

Your Business Professor once occupied a large corner office with three secretaries whose job it was to keep people away from me.

But I would tell all who asked that I would conduct an informational interview any time with any body (if you could get past my menacing office assistants, three-deep in 8 foot trenches under a dark triple canopy, a classic defense in depth).

The “informational interview” is a conversational kabuki dance where the out-of-work worker seeks career counseling. This is the type of meeting where an unemployed would ask for advice, and take a breath (maybe) then ask for a job.

But I would know that is would be-coming and take all comers. It was not done for entertainment—mostly—I would also ask lots of questions to learn something. This is called Free Consulting.

But let’s suppose I had a job opening and had two equal resumes on my desk, equal CVs, exactly alike. Yes, I know that this is rare, but work with me here on the illustration.

The two candidates are sitting in front of me. The applicants were of differing ages, races or genders. Would this make a difference in my selection?

Of course. Let’s say, for example, one candidate had a much easier life than the other. And the other candidate faced impossible-life-odds. And both arrived at the same time at the same place in front of my desk. Who would I pick?

As Brad Reynolds suggests, the thinking, hiring manager would select whom ever had to work the hardest and had the longest, most difficult path and had to overcome obstacles to get to me. Did s/he have to overcome age-race-discrimination? For being too young/old? For being male/female? For being black/white?

And how did the applicant sell this challenge?

1 Timothy 4:12a may offer some guidance, Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young…

Paul is telling Timothy that people might dismiss the Good News of the Gospel because of the young age of the messenger.

I would submit that Timothy’s overcoming age-prejudice is a reason that people should accept what he is saying and that listeners should not only embrace the content of his speech but also his character.

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