Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Should a financially struggling individual get the job over a more-qualified person?"

Returning to your ethical questions...

Scott asks...

 "I have a friend (call him Joe) that is in charge of HR at a company around here. Another guy in our group is really struggling financially (Mike), and Joe thinks he should hire Mike rather than someone more qualified. Thoughts?"

Poor Fredo... He was looked over too.

Hi Scott,
Thanks for reading and asking your question. Now, are you talking about not hiring someone more qualified from within the company or outside the company?

If the person purportedly more qualified is from outside the company, then I think it makes his decision a lot easier to promote Mike, who knows how the company works from the inside more than an outsider, and has been a loyal employee for some time. It is normal to reward loyalty and membership with the trust of promotion to an opening position.

If the person who is supposedly more qualified is also an employee of this company, like Mike, then it makes the question a little more difficult. Now, to be clear, it is always a nice, positive thing to do to help someone who is struggling financially. So, in that case already, Joe is doing a good thing. Now, does Mike deserve it? Maybe not over this other, more qualified gentleman. But, what makes him more qualified? Is the difference in experience/skills that considerable? These can be important questions.

All in all, it is Joe's job in HR to appoint people to positions as he sees fits (or, so it seems based on what you have said). So, if Mike will not be up to par in this position, Joe may take heat for it. In either case, it is his call, and somehow he earned the trust of your company to make that call. So, in that sense, I respect Joe's choice, especially since it seems to be for benevolent reasons.

If there is more important information that I am not considering, please let me know and I will further address the situation. Thanks again for reading, and readers, you may leave more questions if you have them!

I have the honor to be your humble servant,


  1. agreed, this is quite a moral dilemma!

  2. well not that i agree.. he's a sissy:)

  3. Unfortunately, for most business owners, especially small business, it would be a bad move to higher someone relatively unqualified. However, the larger the company, the more a company can afford to take a chance. I don't think it's morally unjust to turn an unqualified person down. There are fields that will train with pay, so it is not like you're condemning them.

  4. I think that both Mike and "the more qualified guy" are currently unaffiliated to the company, and Joe was pondering who he should hire. I didn't understood that Mike was already working for them.