Once again Recruiting Daily is pleased to welcome back HireCentrix’.com’s own Karen Mattonen, CAC, CSP as our guest blogger this week.

ARGH!   How do people in this industry become “gurus’?  You know the ones – The “Professional Advisors” (self proclaimed), those who often proceed to give “expert” advice without even having a clue of what they are speaking? But, of course, they are the “experts”.

Many of you have heard of my consistent frustration at what I consider the consistent “blind edufakating the Blind” in this industry and unfortunately never considering the ramifications of the legal outcomes of misinformation due to their lack of knowledge of the hundreds of State and Federal Laws that surround our industry, and their unwillingness to either say – Hey I don’t know, or maybe I should consult an expert, as this is outside of my expertise..

It terrifies me! Do people in this industry Really Enjoy playing Russian Roulette with their Careers or their companies??????

Some of you may ask, so what now Karen, what happened this time? Well, there was this really interesting conversation where a question was asked whether a “hairy” candidate should consider shaving for the job interview – and the “expert”? The EXPERT said that she would suggest to the candidate that he/she should consider shaving!

What! You would advise a candidate to consider Shaving? Would you also consider advising a person who wore glasses to wear contacts? A fat person to wear a slimming suit? A Muslim to wear Western clothing? Hmm, maybe we should consider asking people with hard to pronounce or foreign sounding names to change their names; and whilst we are at it, why not consider asking them to also consider surgery, dang if that mole isn’t attractive..

She also suggested to look at how DIVERSE a company is to determine the match! Again, are you kidding me?! Let’s see, not enough women there, so let’s not consider this individual for this position, because she may feel uncomfortable being surrounded by the “boys club”. Hmm, yes this company prefers to hire H1-b visas, I am sorry, you are way to American for here, so where else can we place you?

Of course I left a response to this question on this site and have included it below. (Several found humor in the response of the “expert” and others appreciated her desire to be “candid” to the applicant; but my concern is that unfortunately many would consider that the response would be a viable response and would consider acting out on it!)

I guess I will be the boring one here. Typical me, but, what a sad irony should there be anyone who may not recognize the humor here and decide to mention to a candidate that they should consider removing their Body hair, well, it IS NOT A GOOD IDEA –

See discrimination may not only be based upon Race, but also on other aspects Including Any physical Characteristics including race-linked characteristics which can include HAIR (or lack of hair) or yes even facial Features

Individuals for example may NOT be able to consider putting a razor to their skin – Some may not be able to put due to Skin irritations, that may come about due to their race (some races are more prone for irritant and severe razor bumps due to shaving) , (ADA, Title Vii), religious Beliefs Title Vii, or even due to medical conditions (ADA)

Since Body Hair is not reflective of the person’s ability to do the job, and it is not related for job performance or business needs and as this requirement has the potential to be found discriminatory as it could possibly exclude persons of a certain racial group, health status, or color significantly more than others

And, as long as they don’t have poor hygiene because of said hair, my suggestion is to Educate the Client/Employer, and tell them to Grow Up and Just get over it.

Personally, why would Any recruiter even WANT TO GO THERE?! Yes, Virginia Recruiters Can be held liable for discrimination as well! No matter what the size of your company – 1 employee (you) — or 100 they don’t care.

Oh, just because we Don’t hear of the lawsuits don’t mean that they Don’t exist.. Seriously, folks, would you advertise to the World (and your current and potential Clients) that you are being investigated or sued? If you did, well that is Not a very smart business move…. “

Folks in the recruiting industry, here are some compelling stats for you *– and yes YOU should care because it has the potential for being very expensive if you are NOT paying attention! The biggest problem that occurs in this industry is that because there is a very LOW barrier to entry many come in uninformed, and then they go to certain websites hoping to find a solution. Unfortunately they are then educated by people who may have some tenure in the industry but knows even less than they do, but, because THEY call themselves “Experts,” well… they Must be experts!

Employment lawsuits are the largest types of suits brought to State court today. (Bankruptcy cases are brought to Federal Courts) I recruit in a heavily regulated industry, where both Federal and State Laws apply. Knowledge has not crippled me or stopped me from doing a great job for my clients.

The Recruiting industry has too many regulated boards that oversee our actions and it is so unwise for individuals to remain uninformed whilst doing their job. We have the FTC, EEOC, Civil Rights, INS, FCC (based upon the phone and fax communications), OSC, Patriot ACT – The Unions, NLRB (who make the EEOC look like pussycats), if you have foreign resumes in your database there is Safe Harbor.

I think the operational knowledge of this industry is like driving a car with a stick shift. There are a lot of things I have to think about, perform and be aware of, but I can still manage to operate my vehicle, stay within the limits of the law and not have to worry about police intervention.

The internet has brought changes to our lives in recruiting. What was once plausible, or even forgivable as recent as 5 years ago is not the case today. Due to issues that were not as prevalent before (ie. Personal Identity Security, Spam, Internet Harassment), the internet has also brought about a rise in business and corporate sabotage. For example, easy access to business directories and information which can hurt the reputation of companies and affect fair trade.

My advice?

Be aware, be prepared, maintain “good” records and especially keep informed or aware of the Laws that surrounds us – and yes there are plenty of them.

Note, I Karen Mattonen am NOT an expert, nor do I proclaim to be one, nor have I played one on tv – always consider contacting professional legal counsel for advice!

About the Author: Karen is an experienced, successful recruiter who operates her own business and is actively involved in many industry organizations and activities. After a successful tenure as a recruiter with Snelling, Karen struck out on her own, founding Advanced Career Solutions (ACS). ACS focuses on recruiting for the HVAC Industry. Karen has achieved accreditation as a California Accredited Consultant (CAC) through California Staffing Professionals. She has also gained her Certified Staffing Professional Certificate (CSP) through American Staffing Professionals. (www.americanstaffing.net)

Karen is also one of the founders of HireCentrix, the New Generation, Online Human Resources and Recruiting Destination – The Pulse of Regulation, Retention, Recruiting and Risk Management www.hirecentrix.com.

You can contact Karen at [email protected]