business news in context, analysis with attitude

Regarding The Body Shop's new employment policy - hiring the first person who walks through the door - MNB reader Bob Overstreet wrote:

They are being picky without having to do the interviews.  It’s the early bird gets the worm approach to hiring.  If you want a job and are willing to get in line early for the job, chances are you have the work ethic to hang on. 

Might be more problematic for customer facing employees, but for warehouse, good idea. 

From another reader:

I applaud this retailer for providing opportunity to those that might not find it elsewhere and am happy the policy is working out for them.  Kudos to them.

However, when I read this story I immediately thought of EEOC numbers.  It’s sad, but I think most hiring managers and HR folks’ first thought is about diversity in hiring policies.  it’s been shown that a diverse management team makes better decisions and customer facing employees who mirror the customer base grow that base and build customer loyalty.    While I applaud Body Shop’s policy and think it will actually increase their diversity, what if they begin to find that the first applicants through the door begin to decrease diversity?  The policy definitely wouldn’t fly in some of the more segregated parts of the nation or with some employers that are already weak on diversity. 

A retailer I once worked for adopted a hiring policy designed to improve their dismal EEOC numbers.  They put every qualified candidate, even those that barely met minimal qualifications into a pool then hired the candidate from that pool that would best improve the company’s  diversity.  It worked great.  Candidates that might not have previously been given a chance were hired and most succeeded and went on to future advancement. 

And from another:

I would like to see a good university try something like this as an admissions policy. Yes there may have to be some financial question, possibly the willingness to work while in the school to pay for tuition or something. But it would be fascinating to see what would happen with students that may not otherwise get the opportunity to go to a good school.

Responding to my piece yesterday about Amazon not selling certain books - like those by Nazis, white supremacists and anti-semites - and my suggestion that it ought to publish essays about these issues in the spots where those books ordinarily might be, MNB reader Marianne Gibb wrote:

I really appreciate your thoughtful, heart centered approach to this.  I agree, transparency about why Amazon is not selling certain titles is important and your suggestion of adding essays is great way to do this.  Thank you for helping move all of us forward in a landscape where so many are floundering or moving backwards.

There was a story yesterday about how Unilever has decided to advertise ice cream directly to kids 12 and under, prompting one MNB reader to write:

I have to say, that is a sad state. It is not advertising to children that makes them obese.  Ice cream is like a rite of passage as a child – being so excited to hear the ice cream truck on the block, running to gather enough change for a treat. That probably doesn’t even happen anymore. I remember many family trips to DQ – centered around getting ice cream, clearly, but, looking back, cemented some great memories of family times.

That said, not a big loss either – I don’t think kids really care!  And I’m sure the parents won’t either.