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Do not pay the price: hire smart

February 23, 2023

Rania V. Sedhom is managing partner at Sedhom Law Group Rania V. Sedhom is managing partner at Sedhom Law Group


By Rania V. Sedhom

Hiring the right talent for your organization is challenging.

Various states have numerous laws surrounding employment interview questions, pre- and post-employment testing, the use of AI in hiring and salary disclosures.

Keeping up with the myriad laws can be a full-time job in and of itself. But before founders and hiring managers learn about necessary laws, they may want to consider understanding their hiring avatars.

Tipping the scale
Have you noticed that in several organizations after one person is hired, that person hires others with whom they have previously worked or there are several individuals in a single department from the same, previous employer?

There is a sense of comfort when you know and trust your team.

However, is everyone from your previous team a fit for the new organization in terms of skill, working style and experience?

Can the person from your previous job pivot easily and, if necessary, juggle multiple tasks simultaneously?

Is this person best suited for the promotion they she receives when she joins your new organization?

The answer is: maybe.

As Stephen R. Covey advised in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Begin with the end in mind.”

When it comes to hiring, it means that the organization and all who will interview the candidate need to be on the same page about what is needed – skills, experience and so on. That is how you build your candidate avatar.

Being as specific as possible is best.

For example, are you going to scale the business and has this individual previously participated with scaling a business?

For luxury companies, perhaps you are looking for experiential customer support experience. After you build your avatar, you may want to consider creating three to four questions that every person asks the candidate and create your ideal response. This will allow you to narrow down candidates after the interview.

All the best
The best candidates may or may not be your former colleagues and friends. If they are, then certainly make them a job offer. If not, you may inadvertently be discriminating against a class of employees.

Discrimination includes suppressing opportunities. In other words, if you simply hire a previous colleague, you are not allowing individuals to apply for the job in question.

For example, what if a minority candidate would have been hired if they were interviewed?  What if a female candidate matched your job avatar but was never afforded an opportunity to interview? Did you take into consideration promoting from within?

Some companies post job advertisements although they already identified their former colleague as the new hire. Those actions are being met with heightened scrutiny.

Of course, it is important to avoid illegal questions, but many corporate hiring managers are unaware that they can be sued or fined for not interviewing someone as explained above, failing to use nondiscriminatory protocols for deselecting candidates and creating an inappropriate hiring trajectory for candidates.

Unwittingly, items on a resume may trigger grounds for discrimination.

For example, did someone list an organization to which they belong that is political – the wrong type of political in your opinion.

In some states, political activities such as belonging to a political organization is protected. Did a candidate state in the resume that they have a disability? Is that the reason the candidate was not interviewed?

It is vital for hiring managers to document the reason a candidate was not interviewed, and that reason must not be discriminatory.

Inappropriate hiring trajectories include positions that have no room for growth that are typically staffed by underrepresented individuals.

LUXURY BUSINESSES should pay particular attention because there is a dearth of available talent, and it may be faster and easier to cherry pick from a former employer.

However, creating appropriate hiring protocols will save money and time in the long run and, most importantly, will ultimately allow you to hire the best talent available.

The opinions expressed are purely the author’s.

Rania V. Sedhom is founding member and managing partner of the Sedhom Law Group, New York. Views shared are purely the author’s. Reach her at