Dear All,
I just wanted to share my experience with a MalaysianBPO in Bangalore.I had a telephonic interview with the concerned person for a position in the HR Department.The second question the lady asked me was-Are you planning to have kids soon beacuse I don't need the incumbent to take maternity leave now'. Remember, this is the second question after the interview started.
Again she asked me if i am planning to have kids in the coming year.I pointed out it is not in my hands to say when. When she pressed, I politely pointed out that it is an unethical question.
She scornfully said it is ethical and she knows it well because she is in the HR Field.
Please comment on this and let us have a meaningful discussion on this topic
Thanks and Regards

13th December 2007 From India, Bangalore

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The Same case was presented a few months back.
It is purely Unethical about this question.....
The same can be avoided,,
If the company is of that much of manpower shortage,, let them hire more people,,, why do like this,,,,,
I suppose all employees in that company should be either Bachelors or Forced Bachelors....
Better you did not get that OFFER,,,
13th December 2007 From India, Coimbatore
She is concerned if you are going to be on long leave just after joining.
Sometimes it becomes necessary. Supposing you are appointing a person for a responsible post where you hav esharp deadlines, it becomes important to know as the maternity leave is from 3 to 6 months.
May be she should have put it in a different way. There is nothing unethical I feel.
13th December 2007 From India, Bangalore
Ofcourse I agree with you Jayasree, according to the situations she might have asked but the way she put the question may be wrong and she cant say that she is a HR and she can ask anything
but to conclude this, yes there is nothing as such it is unethical or ethical, it was a part of the discussions to meet some of the criteria and she would have clearly told you before asking this type of questions
- Mirza
13th December 2007 From Saudi Arabia, Jiddah
In the process of career one should not lose family values.
it is ok to ask the marriage plans when hiring a fresher or a lady.but not plans for intending to have kids.
it is gods blessings to have kids.
i feel there should not be ambiguity in questions during the interview. im shocked the way recruiters treat the applicants.
13th December 2007 From United Arab Emirates, Dubai
Dear Rose
Though outwardly, the question seeks to be irrelevant.
But, if you go so deep in to the aspect, the interviewer wants to know your future planning of continuing with them. And also, she wants to guess how much weightage you are giving to others etc.
Nothing to think wrong about the question she has asked you, but it is tactfully answered and you could have diverted the topic.
13th December 2007 From India, Madras
Dear all,

I understand the sentiments that you have but we need to look at it in a more professional manner. How can we determine whether or not the question is Ethical or Unethical. There is no law as such to prevent such questions. Its completely a companys call whether or not they want to hire people who are planning kids. I have seen a couple of instances where ladies(no offences meant for the feminine gender) join a particular organization, and by the time the training is over and they sort of get a hang of the job they apply for a maternity leave. Also at times due to family pressure they arent able to get back to work for the next 1/2 years. Same is applicable for students. We need to look at this problem from an employers point of view. An employer spends so much in Hiring, Training and developing an employee and after all that if the employee goes on a leave there is no assurity that the employee will return.

As for the HR lady saying that she is from HR Field and knows that the question is unethical. I feel she is right. As I mentioned above, there is no law that prevents such questions. If the employer is desperate to hire people we must also remember that people are desperate to get good jobs.

P.S. This reply is my personal opininion and I dont mean to hurt anyones sentiments.
13th December 2007 From India, Mumbai
Hi Jaspal,
Agree with you that the question is relevant. But you need not bring in law here. We in HR are dealing with People and how best we can motivate them to be more productive. So we just need to frame our questions in a such a way that no one feels offended or think What type of Company it is. We are representing a company and so ethics are important.
13th December 2007 From India, Bangalore
I am shocked to know some #*$#U$ HR do this, and many HR here support the unethical question asked.
If the (#$U($*# HR thinks the question was ethical, and valid and a prerequisite for the job.
Then why not the hell, she did not post in the Job description itself, only candidates who are not planning to have kids in the next two years are eligible to apply.
These HR's of BPO,, are like this only, they dont have any knowledge and do whatever their foreign client ask them to do. , hence BPO employees are also referred as cyber coolies. because of the work they do. SHAME SHAME on HR, that we have such HR .
You better forget the interview experience and look for a good job, not in a BPO.
13th December 2007 From India, Pune
Thanks a lot all you guys for coming up with your comments on the topic. I too feel it's ok, if it is asked in the middle of the interview or towards the end of it, that too in a more diplomatic manner. Being a woman, I have always made it a point that all these years I have never asked a candidate if she will soon be having kids. We can guess it if the person is married.
Perhaps, it can be put in the way my previous employer asked this question to me. She asked' I know I will be sued if I am asking this question in the US, but would you mind telling me if you will give the same importance to your career after having kids'
I found that to be completely acceptable.My point in bringing up the topic is that we, as HR people, need to be more professional in the way we conduct interviews.
With the comments that we have on this topic, I am sure all of us will keep this instance in mind while interviewing candidates
Warm Regards
13th December 2007 From India, Bangalore

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