Employment Based on Qualifications


Staff member
Do you think businesses should be able to hire whomever they want based on whatever qualifications they are looking for?

With things like Affirmative Action, companies are forced to hire people based on qualifications that have nothing to do with how well they will do the given job. Race, gender, etc are taken into account in an effort to make things "fair".

When it comes down to it, how fair is it when somebody who is over qualified for a job is turned down, while somebody who is under qualified is hired, based on his or her race or gender?

Wouldn't it be fair to also say that the person who was NOT hired (who was qualified) was turned down due to his race or gender, and the fact that the company has too many of said race/gender already?

How is Affirmative Action not racist/sexist/whatever in itself?

Sure it gives one group a better chance of getting a job, for whatever reasons (none having to do with their expected performance in their position), but it also denies somebody else the same job based on the same thing Affirmative Action is trying to get rid of. Race, sex, religion, or whatever.



AKA Ass-Bandit
I don't see why companies should be forced to hire based on age, race, gender, etc. It may look to make things fair, but in the end it's possible that they end up not hiring the person with both the qualifications and the experience to do the job because "Oh shit, wait, we've got too many white people already" or whatever else comes to mind. There were reports on several police stations in the UK (or at least in England) that were hiring more black people regardless of skills, but I don't actually know much about that so I can't actually vouch for that in case I have been misunderstanding things.

There is a similar thing for disabled people. A number of places I have applied for have stated that if you are classed as disabled, you will get a guarenteed interview. I may have it wrong, but I imagine this also includes "Even if the worst non-disabled applicant has better experience and qualifications than you." If I were disabled, I'd see that as a cheap hand out, being added to the shortlist simply because "You're special".


"There can be only one!"
The only time I can understand 'over-qualification' to be an issue is when someone in management see's that person as a threat to his or her job. I don't understand how company owners can feel as though someone is over-qualified.

Where I live, people seem to officially seek qualifications, however, often the case is "Not what you know, but who you know."


not a plastic bag
I applied for some part time work and got the following reply:

As you may be aware, ANTHC exercises Alaska Native/American Indian Preference in hiring, contracting and training in accordance with P.L. 93-638. As this position falls into the provisions of this law, we have screened our applicants based on Indian preference criteria. We have only forwarded qualified Indian preference candidates to the hiring manager, and yours was not included.
I was not even considered because of Indian hire rules. I have a family. I am more than qualified. Its not right. If someone got a letter saying "We only hire white people", all hell would break lose.


/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
Like I said on the other job thread here, I don't understand why people are refused a job because they're overqualified. So is it fair that an overqualified person stays unemployed while a lesser qualified person gets the job?

One of the reasons I hear is that an overqualified person might get bored. Yeah right, like you really care for my well-being as you decide to leave me in the unemployed world. Another reason is that overqualified people have more chances of getting jobs, because of their qualification; so why not leave this simple job to others whose options are limited?

That's probably one reasoning behind Affirmative Action. There must be a history of whites getting all the opportunity for a job and now they want to give it to people who have had fewer chances to access such jobs before. It sounds noble, but it's not fair. We should rather push for equal opportunities for everyone instead of compensating it with giving priority treatment to specific groups to make up for past mistakes.


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Whether or not preferences in terms of sex, color, etc; were imposed on government contractors by Labor's Revised Order No. 4, is controversial. All it did was establish "goals", which some read as quotas. I think enforcing quotas is a bad idea, but I do believe that it should be illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of sex, color, sexuality, etc (save for in some special cases). A lot of companies impose goals on themselves, and say the government makes them, but in reality they're just covering their own asses in case someone sues for discrimination. The quotas are all their own, and hiring based on qualification doesn't cause someone to run afoul of the law.
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Boom Boom Pow!
I believe that companies should be able to hire the person they feel is most qualified to do the job. They shouldn't have to turn down a perfectly qualified person just so they can make up ethnic/female or male numbers in their company. Even though schemes like Affirmative Action mean well and are just trying to give disadvantaged people more of a chance in the working world, I do not believe they are going about it the correct way. Affirmative action just creates lawful discrimination in my eyes. Someone will not get hired because they are not of a cetain gender or race and when questioned about it they can just say they were working under Affirmative Action and therefore they will get away with it.
When companies are made to choose someone who is less qualified this puts the company at risk of losing profits and maybe productivity etc. due to the incompetence of the unqualified person.
People should just be hired because of their qualifications, not because companies are trying to bump up the numbers of ethnic groups.


Lion Rampant
With things like Affirmative Action, companies are forced to hire people based on qualifications that have nothing to do with how well they will do the given job. Race, gender, etc are taken into account in an effort to make things "fair".
I challenge you to show me under which law U.S. companies are "forced" to hire based on "race, gender, etc." Racial quotas were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court over three decades ago (U.C. Board of Regents vs. Bakke).

It's my belief that we who undertake to debate these serious subjects have an obligation to remain factually accurate. If we don't take care to ensure the veracity of our statements, we run the risk of spreading falsehoods and our collective legacy will be the misinforming and dumbing down of those who place their trust in our words.


Son of Liberty
While Bakke did hold that quotas in admissions policies were uncontitutional, Justice Powell's opinion did hold that a university may use race as a factor. He cited Harvard's admissons program, who filed an amicus curiae who have an affirmative action program which takes into account an applicant's qualifications and race.

I think what Hybrix may be speaking about laws such as E.O. 11246 which requires all employers with more than 50 employees and have federal contracts in excess of $50,000 to submit written affirmative action plans with the government. These plans include hiring goals and timetables for hiring women and minorities. Or he may be speaking about 29 USC Sec. 793 dealing with contractors and the hiring of those with disabilities or 39 USC Section 4212 dealing with the hiring of Viet Nam veterans. He may also be speaking of set asides, like the one President Bush signed on August 10, 2005, §1101 of P.L. 109-59 reauthorized a 10% set-aside of funds for small disadvantaged firms on federal highway and surface transportation projects through the end of 2009.