HR Clinic – Experts Advise on Human Resources Issues

This HR Clinic – we review diverse issues that professionals face in their careers and workplaces.

Scenario #1

Dear HR Clinic; I know a candidate who disclosed to the panel during recruitment interviews that she was pregnant. She eventually gets to be the preferred choice after the process has been completed. However, the Founder-CEO is against the employment of the “1st-choice” candidate because of her pregnancy state. The CEO has directed HR to pass her over and make the Employment Offer to the next “second-choice” candidate. Please how would you give counsel on this issue? Toyin .A

Answer

Hello Toyin: It should first be noted that the present CEO is also the founder of this organization; and this implies that HR at various times, may experience obstructions to professional standards and best practices when the CEO doesn’t agree with a policy or process.

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HR needs to document its position and recommendations. This should be done via email or printed memo.

  • The HR Manager should clearly state the results of the screening/interview process and the top candidates while highlighting the lead candidate to be made Offer.
  • Reference should be made to policy and professional standards in making Offer to any “qualified, competent and capable” candidate.
  • Justification must be done to the fact that pregnancy shouldn’t be considered as a hindrance that makes employees “incapable” of performance on the job, except if duly certified by a medical doctor.
  • It should be pointed out that there are laws and conventions that consider such as “bias” and “discrimination”.
  • It should be noted that HR seeks to ensure organization success through professional guidance on issues like this.
  • The email/memo should end with a recommendation to go with the “best-qualified candidate” who is pregnant.
  • A respectful request for approval or otherwise – with the action the CEO wants HR to take (Please note that HR needs to have counter-instructions in email/memo and not verbal – easy for future reference)
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