The US elections are upon with the primaries well underway. I don’t normally indulge in politics but there was an aspect to the election that did catch my attention because of questionable the practices are, yet it is done and nobody seems to care. The elections are essentially one big job interview, and anyone in the US who does any hiring knows you can not take into account, gender, race or religion in the hiring process, yet these seem to be the main themes of the election.
Hiring in the US has come a long way in the last few decades; you need to focus on the skills and experience of the candidates and focus solely on those skills and experiences, for the most part. Personality fit does come in to play for some job as well as communication skills. Now lets say I’m looking to hire a new CEO of a company, I can’t focus on gender as the Clinton supporter and campaign are doing, that would be discrimination and bias and I would get sued and rightfully so because gender plays no role in a person’s ability to be CEO. I can’t focus on race either, which would rule out Obama as many of his supporters and some in his campaign like to play the race issue. Again, race has no bearing on performance. Then there is religion such as Huckabee and Romney are play, I just heard many voters in NV voted for Romney because they are Mormon and so is he. Again, that would not work in a corporate setting, you can’t hire based on religion or lack of.
The interesting aspect is, one of these candidates has the potential to eventually win the job of president of the US. How can we listen to them or even take them serious when they talk about how companies should not take such issues into account when hiring, when they themselves benefited greatly from using such issues to get the job.
I’m all for taking gender, race and religion out of the decision process, as in business, to focus on such issues is to take away from where your real focus should be, that is on the ability of the person to perform the job at hand. The reason’s why we focus on these issues are many, in an over simplified way, I would place it in three camps, the parties, the press and the people.
The parties for the most part are run by consultants that look at polls and like to focus on flash not substance. The press is horrible for the most part, they don’t report news anymore so why would they focus on the substance issues like what a candidate’s economic plan is and does it make any real sense according to economists? Or what is their experience, I hear Hillary say she has 35 years of experience, of what I have no clue, she’s only be in office 8 years, being married to a politician doesn’t count in my book, maybe in hers but not mine. If that’s the case than every spouse of a fortune 500 CEO can claim they can run those companies too, anyone want to, some how that argument never seems to work in the corporate world so why in politics? If we really were talking about experience, most of the candidates who have already dropped out would still be in the race.
I don’t expect these first two groups to do any changing but the people, don’t let me down guys, think and vote real issues. I run into women saying they will vote for Hilary because she’s a woman, what’s the difference between that and KKK member saying they will vote for the Anglo protestant guy? You know what, there isn’t any, please think about that before voting. I know some who say “girl power” but what’s the difference from someone saying some other form of bigotry, we are hiring a president lets keep such things out of the process. Same with anyone else who uses these issues of gender, race or religion as their primary reason for voting for someone. Substance is what is important in such a job, if you don’t demand substance, you can’t complain when you get none from the eventual winner.