Go right ahead be xenophobic – at your peril

Warning: the following may be offensive to some readers

A few years ago Slade Group raised the lid on social discrimination in the hiring space and the business media gave it a good run. Social discrimination is the virtual thumbs down professionals can experience simply because they speak differently, look different, come from someplace else and may have English as a second language.

Does the name Satya Nadella ring a bell? Born in Hyderabad India, graduated with a B.Engineering in Electronics and Telecommunications.

Put his CV in a list of candidate applications and I promise you most hiring managers and consultants will flick past, hoping first to find an Anglo name they can consider. Unsavoury behaviour, but rife in Australia. Difficult conversations we have with clients are often around the blatantly prejudicial, and yet our consultants hear these requests too often for it not to be an exception. Have you heard it too… said as an afterthought, off-the-cuff and with a benign knowing smile: “I’d rather not have any Indians or Asians on the shortlist”? Shameful but true.

So what would you do with Satya’s CV? Satya Nadella just happens to be the 47 year old CEO of Microsoft. An Indian national who did his post grad studies in the US and who runs rings around 99% of us in terms of capability and cultural leadership. Have a look at this YouTube clip.

He mentioned learning leadership and teamwork from cricket.

It’s been an awkward blog to write but if we can put a stop to these xenophobic practices, we’ll be a better society, culture and economy.

What’s your Point of View?

Geoff Slade

Geoff Slade has worked at the forefront of the Recruitment industry for over 50 years. He is the Executive Chairman of Slade Group and was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to the industry.

Geoff Slade
Executive Chairman
Slade Group
Level 10, 333 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: +61 3 9235 5100

Posted in The world @work
4 comments on “Go right ahead be xenophobic – at your peril
  1. Patti McCarthy says:

    Keep ringing the bell Geoff, I’m afraid it is still largely unheard by those people who most need to hear it, but usually think it doesn’t apply to them! I work in the cultural diversity space and my experience is that far too many employers still see diversity as an obstacle to be avoided rather than an opportunity to gain a different point of view. Another recruiter and I actually explored the idea of doing a seminar on cultural intelligence to their clients but it never got off the ground; I still think it has legs and I am in Melbourne if you’d like to discuss over a coffee sometime? I am always keen to connect with people who think the way I do! Thanks for the post! Kind regards, Patti

  2. Ross Clennett (@rossclennett) says:

    Thanks for putting the reality out there, Geoff. This common hiring discrimination is a problem in our country. I also wrote about this topic a few years ago, detailing my own success in recruiting candidates ‘without Australian experience’ http://blog.rossclennett.com/2009/07/you-dont-have-australian-experience.html and including the strong benefits of hiring such candidates.

  3. Geoff Slade Geoff Slade says:

    Thanks Patti, the education and insights piece is a big part of this. I hope you can get something off the ground.

  4. Geoff Slade Geoff Slade says:

    Thanks Ross, I’ve had quite a bit of positive feedback from this blog, so maybe it is an issue that can gain traction by increasing awareness through your work and others.

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