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Religious discrimination in hiring — A matter of culture fit or incompetent management?

I completely disagree with his opinion regarding this issue, Most of the employers will emphasize on attitude first, followed by skills and experience. There is no such thing whereby a religious person will be a problem in hiring decision making. EI (emotional intelligence) is an essential condition and a thing that is absolutely necessary that managers, business owners, and employers must consider in hiring potential candidates because it can be an effective leader in a working environment. There are 5 components of emotional intelligence at work, self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill. These 5 components are strong and positively correlated with their perceiving themselves to have greater EI. I once worked at a predominantly Chinese company before I started my own recruitment business, Soding. My ex-boss didn’t mind his employees going for prayer during working hours as long as we can achieve our own KPI. If somehow we are not able to achieve the KPI set, the management wouldn’t blame it on prayer issue during working hours but will investigate other factors that relate to the dip in performance accordingly.

Besides that, the author admits whereby if a candidate is wearing a “tudung”, that’s a minus for him/her. We as employers need to respect people’s faith and principal. For example, the United States is known to be one of the most religious nations in the world, with surveys consistently finding that more than 90% of its citizens believe in God. Employees and employers believe the workplace is not an exception for them to demonstrate their faith. There are efforts for management to implement “religion-in-the-workplace” strategy, by creating a policy to prevent religious discrimination and harassment, training supervisors and subordinates to deal with these issues and institute a tactical framework for responding to religion-based claims.

My colleagues in the company I worked with before always offered me a beer if they organize BBQ party after working hours but I refused politely. The management can accept that I’m not a drinker and I still mingle around with my colleagues during the BBQ party so I can show them it’s not an excuse for me to avoid social events even though there are cultural differences, as long as we learn to respect each other.

Furthermore, the author said that it could be a red flag if the employee strictly doesn’t work on weekends and doesn’t like to work at night, he/she “religiously” turn off his work mode once the clock hits 9 pm, or doesn’t respond to any work-related messages on Saturday. Based on my opinion, this issue can increase health problems, safety risk, absenteeism, and turnover rates. Also decreased productivity which can affect company performance. Bad health conditions affect work performance, absence, and total economic impact for employers. My opinion about this is overtime working can affect the productivity that can bring down the company performance even when the project dateline is tight. The management or the project manager must make better planning when allocating their resources.

Which element is more important when hiring — culture fit or skills? I believe culture fit is more important than skills but the discrimination issue is a totally different aspect. Race, religion or gender discrimination are negatively correlated with culture fit because discrimination is more of a lazy excuse compared to cultural fit when calculating how these factors contribute towards company or organization performance and is an old-fashioned bias in recruitment and hiring. My recruitment company, Soding help employers to find great tech candidates, and neither we nor our clients make religion as one of the selection criteria. After all, if the candidate can deliver based on his skills and has a positive attitude and personality, most employers would be more than happy to get the candidate on board.

One Comment

  1. Boo Khan Ming Boo Khan Ming

    Well said. You forgot age discrimination when hiring.

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