What else can you do?

Following on our previous article, here are some additional tips to protect your organization against EEOC punishment or retaliation:

Education. Most business owners and their executives have not been educated to recruit - it is NOT in any high school or college curriculum. There is a science to successful, or no-fail hiring. I wrote the Hire-Master Training Kit to provide the knowledge and expertise of hiring to small business owners! From abiding to the EEOC regulations, to mastering interview techniques and implementing effective employer branding strategies, it is in the hands of the HR managers to help their Management optimize the most powerful leverage for their expansion: hiring right!

Stop focusing on hard skills. As stated above, almost 50% of discrimination claims are retaliation cases. What it means is that in many cases, retaliation from the employer occurs after personality clashes and/or emotional reactions in the relationship between a senior and his/her junior.

While it is unfortunately a reality that some business owners or executives tend to ignore the anti-discrimination regulations, it is also true that some employees have been incited to take advantage of the EEOC regulations. If we consider that employers are truly accountable in 60% of the discrimination cases (by negligence, ignorance or even malice), there is definitely a number of employees who may be tempted to abuse their rights. Such a state of mind is entirely in the field of soft skills - of lack of. HR Managers need to persuade their business owners or general managers that selecting applicants ONLY on the basis of hard skills is NOT effective. There are a few reasons why it can often lead to problems:

  • It is proven that hard skills do NOT guarantee success on the job. As a matter of facts, per Leadership IQ, almost 50% of newly-hired employees fail within 18 months. Of those, only 11% of failures are due to lack of hard skills, whereas lack of soft skills account for 89%. (1)

  • Technically qualified applicants know their value and, in the current applicant-driven market, often inflate their salary expectations. Small business owners may tend to blindly compromise with their original plans and succumb to their hard-skilled candidates' negotiation tactics. The problem is, higher salary does not always lead to better performance, as the above numbers demonstrate.

  • Another interesting report published by workforce.com suggests that if you neglect the soft side of candidates and rely primarily on their hard skills, you double or triple the odds of experiencing a hire failure. Specifically, they provided evidence of WHY the emotional or soft side of people is a more leading criterion of success or failure on the job. The report refers to Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and former New York Times reporter who published the international best-seller, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ (Bantam Books, 1995). (2)

Enforce standardization. In our "Hire-Master Training Kit," I stress the fact that when it comes to talent acquisition, subjectivity is the big killer. From an E.E.O.C. viewpoint, lack of objectivity and formalization in the hiring procedure will definitely lead to legal trouble. HR managers very often have difficulties to make their management aware of the importance of formalization. Few companies realize that per the E.E.O.C., every executive involved in the hiring procedure must show evidence of having been trained and of implementing a standard recruitment procedure.


Patrick Valtin,
Best-Selling Author of "No-Fail Hiring 2.0"

(1) Leadershipiq.com, June 22 2015: "Why New Hires Fail."

(2) workforce.com, 07-01-1999, "The Hard Case for Soft Skills"