firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
Via [personal profile] deirdre
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-03/job-applicants-cultural-fit-can-trump-qualifications
An audit staff applicant at New York accounting firm Ernst & Young was asked, “What are the top five cities you want to go to and why?” An online magazine asked an editor, “Where do you vacation in the summer?”
I guess being asked personal questions in a job interview isn't new. At my Apple interview I was asked if I liked pineapple pizza. But how often are "cultural fit" questions used to keep out people who are different?
“A lot of times, cultural fit is used as an excuse” for feelings interviewers aren’t comfortable expressing, says Eric Peterson, manager of diversity and inclusion at the Society for Human Resources and Management. “Maybe a hiring manager can’t picture himself having a beer with someone who has an accent. Sometimes, diversity candidates are shown the door for no other reason than that they made the interviewer a little less at ease.”
How ironic that "having a beer" is given as the example of a social activity a manager should expect to perform with an employee. A lot of people don't drink alcohol.

Interesting:
A 2009 study by University of Illinois sociologist Cedric Herring found that companies with the highest levels of racial diversity reported, on average, 15 times more sales revenue than those with less diverse staffs.

Date: 7 Jan 2013 01:29 am (UTC)
shehasathree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shehasathree
How ironic that "having a beer" is given as the example of a social activity a manager should expect to perform with an employee. A lot of people don't drink alcohol.

Ugh. I can't drink alcohol (or carbonated beverages, or most juices) *or* eat wheat. It makes workplace socialisation kind of hellish. I kind of loathe that so much semi-informal-yet-important socialising is food-and-drink oriented. ;_;

Date: 7 Jan 2013 01:45 am (UTC)
shehasathree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shehasathree
That too! Ugh.

Date: 7 Jan 2013 01:39 am (UTC)
0jack: Closeup of Boba Fett's helmet, angular orange stripe surrounding a narrow window on a greenish metallic field. (Default)
From: [personal profile] 0jack
I'm with you on that, and with [personal profile] firecat. I can't eat out at all. I'm limited to black coffee, maybe, and that's it. Further, I hate the analysis of what people eat and how much and all that goes on. It makes me kind of bleah about socializing. :(

Date: 7 Jan 2013 11:31 am (UTC)
laughingrat: A detail of leaping rats from an original movie poster for the first film of Nosferatu (Default)
From: [personal profile] laughingrat
A lot of people don't drink alcohol.

Or feel comfortable in traditional group social situations (one reason I've certainly rarely fit with various office cultures)!

Date: 7 Jan 2013 11:51 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
“Maybe a hiring manager can’t picture himself having a beer with someone who has an accent. Sometimes, diversity candidates are shown the door for no other reason than that they made the interviewer a little less at ease.”

Just reading that makes me so angry. It brings back vivid memories of Not Fitting In Perfectly in corporate cultures where I worked -- in little ways, since most of the time I looked like any random white person -- and getting harassed for it. It was like people (especially managers) could tell I didn't THINK the way most people thought. They didn't like the fact that I skipped the after-work social gatherings, which did involve alcohol. (The harassment increased drastically when I started in the mid-1980s to look more different -- getting multiple ear piercings or pink hair and wearing somewhat punk outfits.)

I recall one occasion when my group went to lunch together and I was sitting at the end of a long table. I had good relationships with most of the people in my group -- in fact, I considered one or two of them close friends -- but it was common knowledge that our manager didn't much like me. For the entire two hours of the lunch, no one said a word to me. I was left to eat my food in isolation. Truly, I wasn't interested in the things they were talking about, but that's not why I wasn't included.

I also disliked going to the departmental milestone celebrations, which usually involved cake and beer, among other refreshments. I hated that my standing as a professional in the company could be affected by my being true to myself and only socializing when I "meant" it. And that the mechanics of social exchange -- particularly food and alcohol -- mattered so much in that context.

-Graymalkin (I can't recall my darned account name here)

Date: 7 Jan 2013 01:25 pm (UTC)
maize: (Default)
From: [personal profile] maize
It kind of weirds me out how much Sarah's office culture is focused on alcohol. Like, they not only really encourage her to go out to bars and stuff with her colleagues outside of work (they don't make her drink, but still), but they also serve alcohol *at work* a lot.

Date: 7 Jan 2013 04:24 pm (UTC)
the_siobhan: It means, "to rot" (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_siobhan
I drink beer, but that doesn't mean I'm going to want to spend my sparse free time drinking with people I already hang around with for 40 hours a week.

It baffled me a great deal when I heard somebody talk about GW Bush as somebody he would "rather have a beer with" than Kerry as a legitimate reason to vote for the former. This trend seems connected to me.

Date: 7 Jan 2013 07:11 pm (UTC)
selki: (Default)
From: [personal profile] selki
The after-hours socializing also privileges (young) unattached over folks with families (children and elders).

Date: 7 Jan 2013 07:59 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
What about people who work so they can have a social life or creative life? Work's not paying you extra for that socializing.

What about people who have another job they need to get to after this one ends?

Date: 9 Jan 2013 02:57 am (UTC)
selki: (Default)
From: [personal profile] selki
Yeah, those too. But childcare and eldercare tend to hit women disproportionately.

Date: 7 Jan 2013 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starcat-jewel.livejournal.com
One of the reasons I changed careers was that I was fucking sick and tired of always being the office freak (the only liberal, the only non-Christian, the only non-drinker, etc.) -- but I also never thought of the office as a surrogate for family, and am in fact deeply suspicious of that meme, since I so often saw it used as a lever to get employees to accept exploitation. I went to work, I did my job, I went home and had a life, with friends who were not co-workers.

The idea that this has become the new norm -- that my unwillingness to merge my work and private lives might make me unemployable if I were looking for a job -- is seriously depressing.

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