Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Reader Feedback re: "Understanding Diversity" Astronology Article

Yesterday's Astronology Article, "Understanding Diversity - It's More than What You See on the Surface" stirred up some debate among readers. Richard L. Virgilio, SPHR, of First Principles Coaching & Intrepid HR Consulting, Batavia, IL, shared his view on the subject...

I think that it is wrong to "try to mirror the population of a community," as put forth by the BostonWorks article. That metric ("mirror") smacks of quotas, and inevitably is wrong. As an employer, I must--MUST--hire the best qualified people who want to work for me. To do anything else is to betray my stakeholders and be absolutely open to the criticism, "Why didn't you hire the best qualified?" Or worse, "Why did you pass over these people who expressed interest in the position, were well qualified, and instead went out and beat the bushes to find this person who wasn't particularly interested--how long will he last?" The true, underlying philosophy of diversity is both to (a) be sure you are not excluding any particular group from your candidate pool and (b) be sure to not take such immutable characteristics as any factor whatsoever as part of the hiring decision. Diversity for it's own sake is a wrong-headed goal, and when we try to "mirror the community" we are disregarding specific talent and experience.

As always we welcome reader feedback. Keep your comments coming!

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