I haven’t had experience with hiring in more than a basic sense. (Spousal hires for employees working part-time at minimum wage just didn’t come up.)
Many of you have hired – or been on hiring committees. Your experiences are likely to be varied: as a hiring member of A) Your own business; B) A professional partnership; C) A large corporation; D) A public bureaucracy, or E) Academia. Probably sometimes you had complete control & sometimes you were on hiring committees governed by strict rules.
Prompted by Conglomerate Blog’s discussion of whether a law school grad should sanitize his resume of any hints he is both a Republican and a Mormon, I wondered what others thought. Conglomerate Blog suggests honesty, but admits that will lose interviews. Complete objectivity is impossible; in some environments, noting that difficulty, it was given up as goal. Certainly the factional or tribal, nepotism or ideology, make the disinterested ideal difficult. Nonetheless, some institutions encourage a dispassionate approach by rules & company culture. How much does this vary by the kind of organization? the level of job security?
So, what are your opinions? What worked, what didn’t, what was legal, what wasn’t? Most of all, what would you like to do & what did you hate doing?
A) What (if anything) should be “sanitized” in broad terms?
B) Would the hint of a religion influence your choice? (Some have to work at eliminating it – say a Mormon with two years service, a Muslim or Jewish name, a private high school or college, etc.) Would a religion (Muslim, Ba H’ai, Mormon, Baptist, etc.) influence your opinion?
C) Would any political signals be a turn-off to you? To your colleagues?
D) Do you ask about the applicant’s marital (or partnership) arrangements?
E) Is the policy one of finding position for the spouse or partner? Or, would your hiring be limited by nepotism rules? Do you treat married spouses differently than partners (whether hetero or homosexual)?
F) Are you willing to bring in a spousal hire at a higher level than the original interviewee? What would make you want to do this?
G) Do you ask life-style questions and does that make a difference? (Decades ago, the chair here didn’t want to hire a guy that didn’t drive. Actually, that probably did indicate someone too urban for this culture, but since I didn’t drive then, I was pretty irritated.) How important is their affection for the unique situation (cultural, geographic, etc.) your firm offers?
H) How important is “service” for those of you in situations where that is a factor? Is collegiality important? Surely “liking” always plays a part – but is it a conscious plus or a pull that you try to work against with your mind?
I) How much are hiring decisions weighted by out-reach or a desire to increase diversity?
J) Would an applicant’s suit against a previous employer trouble you?
K) Do you ask about security clearances? Felony convictions?
L) Does your firm give personality tests? When in an employee’s application process? Do these tests vary by the kind of job or the level of the position?
This is low wattage next to Foster’s GM discussion. Fantasizing sitting on a hiring committee isn’t nearly as fun as fantasizing sitting at the head of GM, but some job-seekers will be grateful for a look into the heads of those on the other side of the table. And I’m curious if different work environments hire differently.