the Legal and Ethical Ramifications of Recruiting and Hiring
This chapter started off
with a warning. Now we close with the same warning. This is very important! Make
sure you have a clear understanding of the latest legal requirements regarding
hiring practices. The rules seem to change constantly and are not always easy to
interpret. As the sales manager, and as a representative of your organization,
you must actively support the adherence to all legal guidelines regarding
employment practices. These laws and regulations were put in place to prevent
some past questionable practices, and they have long-term positive outcomes for
all parties involved. It is, however, impossible for you to keep current on all
regulatory changes. Before you begin any hiring activity, please contact one or
more of the following:
Your own human resources department
Internal legal services
Outside contracted legal or employment support
Local governmental agencies
State governmental agencies
Federal governmental agencies
If you are planning to hire sales professionals internationally,
make an extra effort to understand the legal hiring practices of the local
country. The U.S. government, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), local
country embassies, consulate offices, and specialized consultants can help with
One final note: hiring sales professionals for your team has an
impact far beyond the limits of your department. Successful sales personnel can
enhance your department’s image, and unsuccessful ones can hurt you with other
departments, suppliers, management, and, of course, your customers. But the way
you handle the hiring practice goes far beyond these areas.
You are changing people’s lives. They have dreams and desires just
like you do. As such, the hiring process becomes very emotional and sometimes
turns out to be very difficult. Protect your company and yourself. Below are a
few steps to take to make it a safer exercise:
First and foremost, be fair to all candidates.
Evaluate them against the job requirements only.
Eliminate prejudices and stereotyping from your
Make sure candidates have a clear understanding of your
Educate them on how they will be evaluated on the job if
Document the interview questions, answers, and facts.
Do not document gut feelings!
Watch out for halo and horn effects that may sway your
When candidates are not selected for advancement in the
hiring process, be honest with them so they can improve their efforts on their
next job search.
Treat every candidate as you would like to be treated.
Be realistically open and honest about the financial
compensation and benefits the person will receive immediately and what the
future possibilities for compensation might be. Continually check with your HR or legal advisor to make
sure your guidelines are current.