Hire the Homosexual




Brad Feld has about the best blog published for early stage companies. But I have a (rare) disagreement with him. The National Center for Women in Information Technology, NCWIT, appointed a male as the board chair. The gentleman, Brad reports, was the most qualified. And this may very well have been true.

But is competence the only criterion in hiring?


Equal Employment


Over the years, I have been confronted with this question. In two different companies, I hired a homosexual and a woman with serious health problems. In each hiring decision I had a short list of candidates who were nearly equal in knowledge, skills and abilities.

In these two instances I hired the second best resume.

I hired not the best resume, but the best person.

Another smart Brad, Brad Reynolds was Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under President Reagan. We once had a conversation about hiring practices. He gave me some sound advice:

When two identical candidates are being interviewed, choose the one who had to come over the roughest road to get to you.

So how hard was it for the job seeker to get in my office? What hurdles? What hassles?

campaign_for human_rights_logo.png

Campaign for

Human Rights:

Group Rights vs.

Individual Effort

We hear a lot of blather about equal treatment for racial groups, equity for equity feminists, anyone in plaid pants. But there are individuals who have had unusual life challenges and have had to negotiate a more difficult trail.

I would suggest that a woman should have been selected to chair the women’s organization, “to ensure that women are fully represented,” as claimed in their mission statement. A woman rather a man because, I would submit, she had a tougher row to hoe to get to the candidate pool then to the board. A woman would have been the best person.

The characteristics that drove her to get herself in front of the selection committee, would be the very qualities needed to make the organization a success.

The NCWIC should have appointed a woman as chair.



You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. basil's blog says:

    Lunch: 9/16/2005

    Try one of these specials with your lunch: Jack Yoest says there’s more to hiring than reading a resum√©. Harvey (Bad Example version) keeps us abreast of his birthday presents. Cowboy Blob says take a POW-MIA to lunch. Dagney’s Rant

  2. Jobs Careers says:

    If the two candidates on the job search or career search have identical knowledge, skills, and abilities, then the only thing left is personality, because that is never identical.

    How passionate is the person for the career or job they are looking for? That would be a deciding factor in how dedicated and loyal they are to their work, hence your business.

    A dedicated individual has a lot more energy to push your business than someone without, not to mention could add a lot of creative solutions.

    As far as choosing between woman or man, it should be whatever the position constitutes.

    A women being hired for a position would be good if the organization is directed towards women’s products, only if she met the above criteria also. But she could also lead a man directed organization and add something totally different. A man could do the same vice versa. Its all about balance and how the chemistry works for the organization.