Resolution: I'm Looking for a Few Good People
1. What facts are known?
- The representative demands that the career center staff screen candidates.
- He threatens to take his business elsewhere.
However, we do not know the following:
- What position is Vanity Corporation hiring for and is there a business reason for the request, i.e., urgent deadline, etc.?
- Has Vanity Corporation recruited students of Evergreen College before?
2. What are the ethical issues in this scenario?
- Preferential treatment given to Vanity Corporation not accorded to other companies.
- Referring only selected students violates precepts of "open and free selection" of employment opportunities; fair and equitable recruitment process; and support for informed and responsible decision-making by candidates.
- It has the potential to violate EEO compliance and affirmative action guidelines.
- From a career development perspective, these students are "placed."
3. Does this scenario pose any legal issues?
The career center becomes a referral entity vs. an employment liaison and is, therefore, liable to claims of employment discrimination, especially if subjective and non-work-related criteria are used in the selection of referred students.
4. Identify the NACE Principles in question.
- The three precepts of the Preamble as identified above in question 2.
- Career Services Principle 3: Career services professionals shall provide a range of employment opportunities to all students.
- Career Services Principle 4: Career services professionals shall provide comparable services to all employers.
- Career Services and Employer Professionals Principles 6: Students shall be referred and interviewed on a non-discriminatory basis.
- Employer Professionals Principle 2: Employer professionals shall know their field of college recruitment and career development, and adhere to accepted recruiting, interviewing, and selection techniques.
5. Discuss practical alternatives that are consistent with NACE Principles.
Explain to the representative why your office cannot selectively refer students to the Vanity Corporation—ethical and legal considerations noted in questions 2 and 3 above. And if the employer wishes to receive resumes only and not come on campus to interview—offer to expedite the process by posting the vacancy and referring only interested students (a "resume drop"). Or, if the employer wishes to conduct on-campus interviews, inform him of additional search criteria, such as keywords and G.P.A. if available, that can be used to narrow the pool of candidates.
6. If you were the director of the career center, how would you handle the Vanity Corporation's request? Would it make any difference if the employer were an alumnus of Evergreen College or if they were a third-party recruiter? Would it make any difference if the employer made this request to a faculty member?
Decline to comply with the request, citing the ethical and legal concerns. Explain further screening tools as noted above in answer 5. If Vanity Corporation is an influential employer, such as a major donor, it would be prudent to discuss the situation with the appropriate campus leadership and to keep them apprised of communications with the employer.
If the employer were an alumnus, it would not make a difference. However, the appropriate campus leaders should be informed.
If the employer is a third-party recruiter, it would only make a difference because many career services offices have policies in place that allow these recruiters to only post vacant positions vs. interviewing on campus and having access to candidate resumes.
If the request were made of a faculty member, it should not make a difference. Faculty members are also be liable to claims of employment discrimination.
Current as of February 2013.