Racism and Affirmative Action -Reply

Dennis Putnam putnamd at ATLODBS1.HAYES.COM
Fri Feb 9 11:10:46 MST 1996

> The NBA example is a bit contrived, (liberal speak for "you make a
> good point") only in rare circumstances do teams wish to
> have less than the optimal.  However businesses often hire less than
> optimal eg the phrase "you are over qualified for this job."  If firms
> were intent to hire only the best, even conceeding the existance of a
> perfect measure of applicants (WHICH DOES NOT EXIST) they would never
> worry about over qualified applicants.

I don't buy that. The reason for the term overqualified has nothing to do with
not wanting to hire the best. It is a business decision plain and simple. Any
new hire requires an upfront investment on the part of the company (relocation,
training, etc.). The goal then is to hire someone that will stick around
long enough for the company to get a return on that investment. When a person
is hired for a position that they are overqualified for the hiring company
knows two things. The person is earning less than they can elsewhere in a
position they are qualified for and their skills are being underutilized.
Together, these things mean that that person will leave the company the first
chance they get for more money and to fully utilize their skills. The risk
of losing money on hiring an overqualified candidate is too high and thus most
companies won't do it. And the NBA is not a contrived example, it exists and
its racial make up is exactly as described by the orginal poster. It is a
business, like any other in that they have to make a profit to survive.
The NBA example quite aptly illustrates the point the poster was making.


Dennis Putnam, Manager
Technical Planning and Services
Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc.

Opinions expressed are mine and should not be viewed as an official positon of
Hayes or its management.

"Our Founding Fathers did not create our civil liberties ... They safegarded
them." Tanya Mataksa, NRA-ILA Executive Director.

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