The law is an ass, or so the old saying goes.
Quite possibly and most of the time, when it comes to the ton of employment legislation (most of which I don’t think is needed), it’s worse than that… it’s an ass that gets in the way of good business.
But them sometimes, just sometimes, I get to see the positive effects of the law.
Now, before you call me ‘hypocrite’ or something much worse with the general meaning that I’ve abandoned my principles, let me explain, caveat and justify my support for the law.
As you all know, Enterprise Britain is, of course, against any form of discrimination. We are also against stupid and ridiculous arbitrary laws that make it hard for small businesses to employ people without (at best) being paralysed with fear about forgetting to cross a T in the notes, and at worst being held to ransom by individuals who use the ridiculous elements of the law to make their living – by taking unprepared employers to tribunals on fine points of the law that do nothing for the greater good.
But sometimes this rubbish legislation has positive side effects – which are, I have to say, entirely unintentional.
I was with a guy last week who runs his own business. It’s an office based business but my client is (in his own words) a bloke’s bloke.
He has recently recruited a new team member, who broke the mould of his usual staff member. His team used to consist of blokes just like him. Not because he’s inherently sexist, but because he recruits through recommendation and you tend to get the same type of person applying who already works for you.
This time, because of the law, he had to widen his recruitment search a bit and got many more applications. Together we selected the best applicants for interview by comparing them to the job description. We then interviewed using Competency Based Questions and selected the person who was best suited to the role.
Plain and simple – the person BEST SUITED TO THE ROLE.
The person who was best for the role was a fifty seven year old lady.
Guess what’s happened to his business? It’s booming!
The extra depth of knowledge, intuition, insight, the different angles his new employee looks at things has been a revelation.
All because they guy couldn’t recruit like he used to.
Well done the legislation!
BUT… when looked at in the cold light of day it’s just good business sense. A good mix of people leads to a well balanced business and EB should recognise this. Comply with the law not because it’s the law, but because it makes good business sense.