5 Minutes On: Hiring Manager, Are You Gay, Bi Or Straight?

by | Sep 22, 2020

Would you ask a Hiring Manager about their sexual orientation?

This is part 2 – rant one is here.


Live video on ‘Hiring Manager, Are You Gay, Bi or Straight?’ was transcribed by Otter.ai

Hello, it’s Katrina Collier. And I’d like you to imagine this, picture the scene. You’ve just walked into an interview, met a hiring manager that you’ve never met before in your life, and you ask them if they are gay, bi or straight. You wouldn’t do it, right? You wouldn’t at all, contemplate asking that question. So yes, I’m going to spend another five minutes talking about this sexual orientation question at the point of application, because it kind of baffles me and I don’t really understand what’s going on.

On top of that, I was sent this brilliant image by my fantastic virtual assistant, Heidi, which is a Glassdoor review for a director role, “didn’t get past the application completely put off after being asked my gender at birth and my gender now, my sexuality and if I’m a member of the LGBTQ community, completely inappropriate and in no way relevant to the role or the ability to perform the job functions”. Right? In absolutely no way relevant to performing the job functions. There are very few roles where it matters what sexuality somebody is, and I don’t think anybody recruiting here on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Periscope, where this is going out, has those kind of roles. But I said that in my last video.

However, let me refer back to Shannon Pritchett’s poll because it’s now in there were 851 votes. Actually, no, there’s still one day left, apparently. But currently, it’s at 47% would ‘Yes, be honest’, and would actually self identify their sexual orientation? ‘No, none of their business’ was 46%. But then there’s that 8%, that would skip it. In conversation since this, it has come up numerous times that even though that information should be held securely, over there in HR, there are quite a lot of concerns, that actually [just dawned on me, oh, they are connected. Just dawned on me that these might not be connected] even though the information might be held over there in HR, talent acquisition can have access to that information so is it potentially putting somebody off? So I think skipping it sends a message, and I think answering it, well? It’s none of their business. I still hold very firmly to that.

But the bigger thing I’m concerned about is if we have a Glassdoor review that shows that somebody, who was a director-level of a role, went ‘I don’t think so!’. And this is a really well-known company, this is like a household name kind of company that they’ve been put off from working for, who are you missing out on? Your job as a recruiter or a talent acquisition professional or HR professional involved in recruitment is to open the door to the company. It’s to show who you are and what you’re about and to attract the best people into that role to help the company succeed. Ultimately, that’s what we do. We seem to forget that somewhere along the way, but that’s what we do.

And my concern is, all the time is, if HR is putting this on you because somebody is putting this on you, somebody has decided that it’s okay – at the point of application – to have a tick box exercise, why aren’t we pushing back? Why aren’t recruiters and talent acquisition professionals pushing back and saying, “No, this is unacceptable! We haven’t built any trust!” Where’s the influence? Where’s the pushback? Where’s the fearlessness to say no. Now I keep going on about, and I’m pointing the right way this time, The Robot-Proof Recruiter Mastermind and some have queried me about the need for it. The need for it is stuff like this. Recruiters should be seen as a partner to the business. And they should be seen as able to push back and make a point and be fearless, and those sorts of things. And that’s why I cover it over the Mastermind to make recruiters better, to make them extraordinary, as one of my Pod-Peers beautifully said. So that’s why it’s there. But I don’t want to talk about that actually went to about trust, which is the first thing I cover in said Mastermind.

Where’s the trust? How well do you have to know somebody be it on a personal level? A friend? How well do you have to know them before you ask them about their sexuality? How long does it take?

Right? A really long time. It’s not the first thing. And this is a friend, this is someone you go out with, personally, it’s not like you’re going to immediately hit them up and ask that question. So why are we doing that with somebody that we don’t know that we have built no level of trust with? We haven’t even started the process of building trust. Why are we doing that? Absolutely crazy.

And I did love this, one of the Heads of TA came back to me with feedback again for this, you know, are we asking this, ‘That’s really, REALLY unnecessary and obtrusive?’ It absolutely is. It is none of our business at this point. Now I understand again, that you want to recruit diversely, I get that, like I mentioned in the previous video, there are better ways that you can do that. By showing genuinely that you are not only diverse but an inclusive company. So that’s the way you need to be going about it.

So please, if you have this here, please remove it. You haven’t built the trust to even ask that question. And if you don’t know how to influence and push back and be fearless and bold and partner properly with whoever it is that’s telling you to put that on your application, please come and have a talk to me or have a look at the Mastermind and let’s see how we can work together to solve this because we shouldn’t be doing this. Our job is to open the door to the company.

There you go. My five-minute rant is over and I think I must have gone over my five minutes but thank you for your time for listening and for hearing me out.

Free Course!

5 days to better candidate engagement, reduced ghosting & more filled roles!

Edition 2 is out! 🥳

Fully updated for 2022, The Robot-Proof Recruiter