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Many Hr Depts Prefer Applicants With Mortgages & Debt

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Guest vicmac64

does anyone else have anecdotal evidence of this?

I had a sales director tell me that they prefered indebted individuals as they did what they were told, followed the line and could be releid upon to carry through unpalatable instructions without complaint.

It makes perfect sense.

Apart from the fact it is corrupt.

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does anyone else have anecdotal evidence of this?

I had a sales director tell me that they prefered indebted individuals as they did what they were told, followed the line and could be releid upon to carry through unpalatable instructions without complaint.

It makes perfect sense.

Apart from the fact it is corrupt.

If you work for this company, quit now! I think that company will not last very long with that kind of attitude towards its staff.

In a way it could be more desirable to have staff who have bought a house - it shows commitment, stability and they are less likely to move away suddenly.

However, I would think the opposite would be true for over indebted staff. They may be more likely to demand higher pay rises or leave your company at the first whiff of a higher pay packet elsewhere.

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However, I would think the opposite would be true for over indebted staff. They may be more likely to demand higher pay rises or leave your company at the first whiff of a higher pay packet elsewhere.

Also more likely to dip their fingers in the till, sell information to competitors, etc.

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does anyone else have anecdotal evidence of this?

I had a sales director tell me that they prefered indebted individuals as they did what they were told, followed the line and could be releid upon to carry through unpalatable instructions without complaint.

It makes perfect sense.

Apart from the fact it is corrupt.

21st century serfs. You only need some ID cards to keep track of them better.

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does anyone else have anecdotal evidence of this?

I had a sales director tell me that they prefered indebted individuals as they did what they were told, followed the line and could be releid upon to carry through unpalatable instructions without complaint.

It makes perfect sense.

Apart from the fact it is corrupt.

How on earth would a company know if the person they were employing was indebted?

I know that companies prefer employees who have a family to support for a similar reason but mainly as they know that the person will turn up for work and will look after their job instead of being a "sick note" and being an overall slacker. This has been around for donkeys years. Ask any employer.

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I also believe this is true.

At the last place Mr W&S worked at, they were constantly pointing out houses he could/should buy (we're renting, weren't seriously looking, and their suggestions were way over what we would have been happy to afford/comfortable with paying off) As the last boss retired, he told the next one that the best thing to do was make sure everyone needed to earn the money, as it's the best way to keep them there (and I think there was a slight sense that there was no way out, and that everywhere else would be just as bad as there - it turns out not to be the case :) )...

I think they were looking for him to buy a house to show commitment to his workplace. We however, were looking for a bit of commitment from them before making such a big purchase, and weren't prepared to over-stretch ourselves. Another guy there did buy, for the same price as we were prepared to spend, he's now working at weekends as well as very long hours in the week, and I still don't know that he's keeping on top of the payments :(

I've heard the same from a guy who was a medical rep - the bosses encourage them to spend spend spend, meaning they have to achieve the sales targets to get the bonuses to pay it off/maintain the lifestyle - I'm sure the same applies to pretty much all incentive based jobs (just look at all the city bonuses - you'd like to think that when it all stops they've all been clever enough to plan for that rainy day, but, it would seem (anecdotally, at least) that is not always the case - when you're jobs stops pretty suddenly, and you've got a lifestyle to maintain, and a wife whose become accustomed to a certain lifestyle, it's a bit of a shock.

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No. I think it is actually more common to reject applicants on the basis of poor financial standing as it leaves them open to corruption, accepting bribes, industrial espionage, undue influence etc (and of course theft but my feeling this is actually not considered the greatest risk in most responsible jobs). Quite a few public sector jobs (e.g., anything requiring a security check) would be closed to such people and I believe the parts of the the private sector that have hitherto not cared will be following suit. I understand this is already the case in the US.

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I don't know about the US, but I'm 99% sure that unless there's a security/official secrets issue, I'm sure it's completely illegal under human rights and employment legislation to consider personal and/or financial circumstances as a criterion one way or another when making recruitment decisions. The last time I applied for a job I left the 'marital status' field on the form blank. At the interview, the personnel officer noted that 'Oh, you've missed that one out - what's your marital status?'. I replied that I'd not filled it in because my marital status is irrelevant to the job I was being interviewed for. She seemed very surprised, but didn't push things any further. I still got the job.

If inappropriate questions ever became an issue at interviews, I'd simply record them secretly and send the tape/disc to the Equal Opportunities Commission, and/or take them to an employment tribunal.

Edited by The Ayatollah Bugheri

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I work in HR and I think anyone seriously using indebtedness as a selcetion criterion would be on a really sticky wicket.

.

but..... I have also worked in sales and I know more than one boss of mine who would not have hesitated to use the same logic to hire people by.

In fact it was well know in the industry (recruitment sales) that companies would encourage high spending, constant blow out nights out, competition on who was wearing what watch, driving which car etc.... in order that you have to keep earning (i.e Billing) more.

.

ST

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does anyone else have anecdotal evidence of this?

I had a sales director tell me that they prefered indebted individuals as they did what they were told, followed the line and could be releid upon to carry through unpalatable instructions without complaint.

It makes perfect sense.

Apart from the fact it is corrupt.

I work closely with HR. I have never seen this.

Often I have found the opposite. Employees that are foot loose, flexible and willing to travel without too many commitments are quite valuable.

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I don't know about the US, but I'm 99% sure that unless there's a security/official secrets issue, I'm sure it's completely illegal under human rights and employment legislation to consider personal and/or financial circumstances as a criterion one way or another when making recruitment decisions. The last time I applied for a job I left the 'marital status' field on the form blank. At the interview, the personnel officer noted that 'Oh, you've missed that one out - what's your marital status?'. I replied that I'd not filled it in because my marital status is irrelevant to the job I was being interviewed for. She seemed very surprised, but didn't push things any further. I still got the job.

If inappropriate questions ever became an issue at interviews, I'd simply record them secretly and send the tape/disc to the Equal Opportunities Commission, and/or take them to an employment tribunal.

I was prognosticating to some extent.

In practice I think things are different and special cases can be made (be it terrorism or paedo-panic for example, these are easier to make up in a service economy rather than in an industrial one). There are lots of jobs where you aren't considered "fit and proper" in certain circumstances (e.g, bankruptcy) and you'd lose your ability to practice and so be fired under "statutory restrictions" so the thin end of the wedge already exists to some extent in the legal and financial fields. I just don't have a lot of faith in the future of employment law and human rights in this country, I mean, Redwood pretty much wrote a report outlining how the Tories would give power back to employers (I think they pretended it was something to do with 'red tape' for the Daily Mail readers) and even exempt them from having to provide a safe working environment, so I think a few questions in an interview could be the least of our worries.

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Guest X-QUORK
Our MD (a former sales director) encourages people to take out large mortgages and have kids because it means they'll be less likely to take risks and leave.

He's obviously not very bright then, unless he's willing to increase their salaries to meet the increasing cost of mortgages that is. As things get tighter, his employees might well be looking for a better paid position elsewhere to cover that huge mortgage and private school fees he encouraged.

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In practice I think things are different and special cases can be made (be it terrorism or paedo-panic for example, these are easier to make up in a service economy rather than in an industrial one).

Agreed totally - there are some scenarios in which discrimination is justified and necessary. Would you take on a blind man as a bus driver? The problem is that this government uses human rights legislation to prevent this sort of discrimination but allow discrimination on spurious race and gender grounds. You could argue that personal indebtedness is a relevant factor when considering whether or not to give someone a job that involves handling money. But assessing potential loyalty to an employer according to whether or not an applicant is in debt is completely off the scale, and I'd hope that any industrial tribunal would agree.

A friend recently applied for a job with the British Board of Film Classification and got to the second stage of the interview process. He didn't get the job, and in informal feedback was told that as it involved making decisions about what sort of images children could safely watch at different stages of their upbringing, the fact that he neither had children nor had ever worked with them was a significant drawback. I don't have a problem with that (and neither did he).

I mean, Redwood pretty much wrote a report outlining how the Tories would give power back to employers (I think they pretended it was something to do with 'red tape' for the Daily Mail readers) and even exempt them from having to provide a safe working environment...

That's a gross distortion. He was talking about removing unnecessary health and safety legislation, not removing the obligation of employers to provide a safe working environment. One example he gave was the legal requirement to complete a COSHH risk assessment for washing-up liquid in the staff kitchen (lots of workplaces ignore it, but this is still technically a legal requirement). Another is the imposition of safety procedures related to industrial machinery which went out of use decades ago and which are not necessary for the safe operation of its replacement, but which no-one bothered to repeal. As Redwood pointed out, repealing regulation is a low-profile task which few politicians will earn brownie points for, but imposing it is being seen to be doing something.

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One example he gave was the legal requirement to complete a COSHH risk assessment for washing-up liquid in the staff kitchen (lots of workplaces ignore it, but this is still technically a legal requirement).

What about the case in that care home where the kitchen staff mixed up cordial with dishwasher fluid. Several residents died. Wouldn't it have been better for the staff to have done a thorough COSHH assessment?

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You simply can't legislate against people being that f***ing stupid. What about the case of the teenager who tried to manufacture 'light sabres' by removing the end caps from flourescent light bulbs and filling them with petrol? Should everyone have to take a test before being allowed to purchase light bulbs?

Effective H & S regulation has to be a compromise between providing the training and support to minimise unusual or job-specific risks and expecting staff to exercise common sense in managing everyday risks. Employers should not have to provide a safer environment than their employees' homes, and almost all homes have washing-up liquid in them.

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He's obviously not very bright then, unless he's willing to increase their salaries to meet the increasing cost of mortgages that is. As things get tighter, his employees might well be looking for a better paid position elsewhere to cover that huge mortgage and private school fees he encouraged.

We do pay very well. It's hard to get a better paid job elsewhere doing what we do without taking some risks. Hence.

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In fact it was well know in the industry (recruitment sales) that companies would encourage high spending, constant blow out nights out, competition on who was wearing what watch, driving which car etc.... in order that you have to keep earning (i.e Billing) more.

.

ST

I worked in recruitment for 18 months. The owner employed this tactic ruthlessly. He was always goading me that I had a crappy old Ford Fiesta and off the peg suits, whereas the guy next to me had a BMW convertible, and tailor made suits from Bond street. Eventually he gave up once he realised I was only there to pay off my student loans, and he admitted in a private conversation over a beer that he wanted his staff up to their eyes in debt and hooked on bling as it made them go that extra mile for a fee. I hated him, and as soon as my loans were cleared I gave him the finger, took a 50% pay cut and started a job I enjoy.

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Guest X-QUORK

Any employer who thought they could be so bold as to tell me how I should spend my money would be told in no uncertain terms to mind their own f**king business.

Why do people put up with this sort of thing?

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I worked in recruitment for 18 months. The owner employed this tactic ruthlessly. He was always goading me that I had a crappy old Ford Fiesta and off the peg suits, whereas the guy next to me had a BMW convertible, and tailor made suits from Bond street. Eventually he gave up once he realised I was only there to pay off my student loans, and he admitted in a private conversation over a beer that he wanted his staff up to their eyes in debt and hooked on bling as it made them go that extra mile for a fee. I hated him, and as soon as my loans were cleared I gave him the finger, took a 50% pay cut and started a job I enjoy.

I have done exactly the same thing.

.

Fair play to you, what do you do now?

I do a bizarre mix of IT and HR for a company I used to recruit for.

.

ST

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My mortgage makes me a company's worst nightmare. Mind you I've got a highly desirable and rare skill set in a growing and competitive market so I can do better by abandoning all loyalty. Any company that's either paying well above market rate or has employees whose skills aren't easily transferrable would do well to have employees who simply can't risk redundancy.

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absolutely true. I worked for a headhunter for a while and he said that companies liked it when potential recruits (senior people, mainly men in the field we were dealing with, IT related to banking, high level sales and operations, not support stuff) had kids in private school as they had a lot of pressure to earn good money and not take risks by moving jobs. Even better if still paying to keep kids from marriage one and now having to support marriage two.

It's not the HR departments though, it's the business heads who people report directly to.

Also edited to say: of course it is not legal to ask all these questions but that's one reason companies like to use "friendly" headhunters who take people out for a beer and chat for an initial meeting and quietly gain this information that is then not put in writing but conveyed to client "informally".

Edited by TeddyBear

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Many years ago an old retired manager from the old British Leyland told me that they eventually beat the unionised workforce by gradually making all older workers redundant and deliberatley replacing them with young workers who had a mortgage. It made them more compliant - the strikes ended.

Margaret Thatcher also understood this when she encouraged people to buy their council houses. I met a miner during the miners strike who was young and was desperate to go back to work as he had a family and a mortgage but the older workers were the problem as they had very little mortgage and could stay out of work living on union handouts. Eventually they caved in because Margaret Thatcher had stockpiled millions of tons of coal at the power stations and she starved them back to work.

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Guest vicmac64
I worked in recruitment for 18 months. The owner employed this tactic ruthlessly. He was always goading me that I had a crappy old Ford Fiesta and off the peg suits, whereas the guy next to me had a BMW convertible, and tailor made suits from Bond street. Eventually he gave up once he realised I was only there to pay off my student loans, and he admitted in a private conversation over a beer that he wanted his staff up to their eyes in debt and hooked on bling as it made them go that extra mile for a fee. I hated him, and as soon as my loans were cleared I gave him the finger, took a 50% pay cut and started a job I enjoy.

good man - i felt the same and now i work for myself

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Oh yes, my old sales manager used to say the same. He always tried to get us to commit to the Porsche or the bigger house. He was laughing when he said it but it was only half a joke. If you have good sales staff and get them into debt they will close harder and make more money. I have no evidence it worked, I was the top new buisness guy at the time and probably the least in debt but then I am weird - I'm sure it works. It's no good getting on a high horse and saying it's wrong, it's wrong to encouage reckless indebtedness but motivation is key with sales people - not sure about the rest of a company though - probably not so good, they'd worry too much - pansies! :D

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