Does Hiring Brand Ambassadors Violate Human Rights?

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Written By RobertMaxfield

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I am doing work for a client in the alcohol beverage space. Clearly, we want to hire people who like our product because they are great brand ambassadors. If you read my blog, you already know that I think employees are vital brand ambassadors because they can tweet and poke to at least 3 degrees of separation on the web and are likely linked in to our competitors and potential and current customers. Thus, our accountant, customer service person, sales guy, and yes even HR has to like our products because every time they update their status, we stand a chance of getting positive publicity. Saying that, in the alcohol beverage space, we have to be careful about people “liking” our products too much, because that can lead to a whole different array of issues which I will leave for another day.

Human Rights laws might not agree that employees have to like your product or service. For example, if a beer company only hires people who like their beer, the beer company could be risking a discrimination claim if they refuse to hire someone who didn’t drink for religious reasons. Although I may question why someone whose religion prevents him or her from drinking would want to join an alcohol beverage company, it happens.

From an employer’s perspective, we want to hire people who like what our company does, because passion for our products, services or purpose make employees engaged and motivated which ultimately increases our profits. The law says we can’t do that if our decision bumps up against a protected ground like age, religion, gender, etc.

What do you think?

Shawnee Love is the principal of Love HR, a consulting practice driven to help businesses succeed through their people and people practices. Shawnee is also a facilitator, trainer and keynote speaker on finding, keeping and engaging employees.