Don't like applicant's looks? Think twice

When Peter Wu answered a want ad for an experienced electrician, Personnel Manager Ann Grissom passed him through to be interviewed by Maintenance Foreman John Groat.

09/01/1998


When Peter Wu answered a want ad for an experienced electrician, Personnel Manager Ann Grissom passed him through to be interviewed by Maintenance Foreman John Groat. Groat scanned his employment application, asked him a couple of questions, and turned him down.

"You don't have the experience we need."

Wu appeared surprised, seemed about to question Groat's decision, but thought better of it.

Next day Groat hired Thomas Hart, a black applicant, for the job. Hart was scheduled to start the following Monday.

When Wu heard that Hart had been hired, he appeared in the personnel manager's office. "I happen to know Tom Hart very well," he told Mrs. Grissom. "I worked with him at another plant. He's a nice guy, but I have far more experience than he does. I was Grade I, he was Grade II. I don't see why Mr. Groat turned me down."

Grissom reviewed both men's applications.

"Wait here," she instructed Wu. "I'll talk to Mr. Groat."

Grissom told Groat, "This applicant makes a good point, John. Wu appears much better qualified than Hart. Why did you reject him?"

Groat frowned. "I don't know. Something about him sorta bothered me. I just didn't like the guy's looks."

"That's exactly what concerns me, the fact that he's oriental. Looks have nothing to do with qualifications. This smacks of prejudice."

"No way! If I was prejudiced, would I have hired a black?"

Grissom wasn't convinced. "I'm going to take this up with Mr. Burroughs."

Question : Should the hiring decision be changed?

Burroughs' verdict: After reviewing both applications, Plant Engineer Henry Burroughs agreed with the personnel manager that Wu's rejection indicated possible bias. He told Groat, "Your decision should be reversed in favor of Wu. A person's looks should not be a factor in any hiring decision, especially where another applicant's qualifications are decidedly better."





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.