Prefered but Definitely not Required Pt. 1

danny-0509A look at the top employer job sourcing mistakes.
I have the pleasure of evaluating many job postings and job descriptions every day. In doing so, I see employers make mistakes in their sourcing and recruiting efforts starting with simple wording issues in job descriptions to errors in job fair operations that could potentially be litigious. The hiring process needs as few roadblocks as possible, especially in the tough employment climate we have today, and I thought this would be a good time to review some of these issues to help both job seekers and employers.

Minimum wage is $7.25 an hour…even for tip-wage employees
While not too common, I still see employers unaware of the minimum wage laws. Currently, people must make at least $7.25 an hour. Employees whose pay might rely on tips as well still need to be guaranteed minimum wage by their employer. If an employee’s base pay rate is $2.13 an hour (for example, for a bartender), the employer must guarantee that they will make minimum wage per hour for each our worked. If business is slow and the employee does not make enough tips that week to accommodate the difference between their base pay and minimum wage, the employer is obligated to make up that difference. While it rarely happens this way, employers should clarify their understanding of this obligation to their employees and potential employees as they source, screen, and recruit.

2 – Required skills are, well, required
What is a BFOQ? Well, it stands for bona fide occupational qualification and it is a necessary skill or trait required to perform a job. For example, in order to work on rocket ships, you would most likely need experience and training in rocket ship engineering or maintenance. However, you would not need experience or training in molecular gastronomy (don’t know what that is? Google it…it’s really cool!). All too often, employers list a preferred skill or trait as a requirement. The most common? — “Must be bilingual in English and Spanish”. When someone with an HR background, such as me, sees this I automatically ask “Why?” What about this position REQUIRES fluency in both languages? Is the position for a Call Center Representative in which in-bound calls might come from English or Spanish speaking clients? Then yes, this would be a required skill. However, if the position is for an office receptionist and every so often a Spanish speaking guest might come to the office; the skill is probably not required but instead preferred. The question at hand is whether or not the core duties of the job could be completed without this skill or trait. Therefore, employers, be cautious and conscientious when choosing skill sets that are required for job performance, versus those that are preferred.

I will return later with more sourcing and recruiting issues. In the mean time, I encourage you to send your questions to me regarding issues you might have seen or may have personally experienced. In the current market, we need to make every effort to keep the job seeking and employment process as fair and streamlined as possible. I wish continued perseverance and strength in your job search (or employee search) and look forward to your insightful feedback.

Danny Zendejas is the Hospitality Business Consultant for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. He has over eight years of experience in the hospitality industry and workforce development and is a native of San Antonio, Texas.

4 Responses to “Prefered but Definitely not Required Pt. 1”


  1. 1 Mary A. Hawkins July 29, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Thank you all of the information you shared will be very helpful in my Job search.

  2. 2 Mary A. Hawkins July 29, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Thank you all of the information will be very helpful in my search for a Job.

  3. 3 danielzendejas July 20, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Thanks for the feedback. In response to your question, I would keep it simple. In any job search, your best bet is to be straightforward and honest about what you are looking for and what the employer can expect from you. If you are truly looking for part-time work, to work certain hours, or to make so much money, then be upfront about it. An employer will appreciate that this is shared before it might become an issue later. For example, you might be a stellar employee and they might want to give you additional hours. These hours spring up on your schedule and while the employer sees this as rewarding great work, you are suddenly in danger of working “too much”. Being straightforward from the beginning would let the employer know what they need to know to plan accordingly should they choose to hire you. That said, make sure you apply for part-time work and not to full-time work with the intent of convincing the employer to change their needs. I’m sure you don’t plan to do that, but I see it all too often where a job seeker applies for a job but doesn’t want to work all of the stated hours. The employer is being upfront with their expectations as should you. If everyone “keeps it real”, the work environment is a happier place.

  4. 4 suni harrell July 14, 2010 at 7:05 am

    What an interesting subject for this blog! Thanks for clarifying the minimum wage issue for wait staff and others. My issue is working while receiving SS disability income. I want to work part-time to keep me as active as possible in the community until I can’t. Part-time jobs are hard to find in my field that fit my maximum allowed wage of $1000 per month. Should I state up front that that’s all I can make? or should I just state the maximum hours I can work that will come out to that amount depending on their pay scale?


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