Human Resources Generalist for Southern Cross Consulting Group (SCCG)

Human Resources Generalist for Southern Cross Consulting Group (SCCG)

You are a Human Resources Generalist for Southern Cross Consulting Group (SCCG), a management consulting firm that provides tax and consulting advice to some of the biggest companies in the country. The firm has been in business for fourteen years and annual revenues exceed six hundred million dollars. SCCG is owned by a group of five partners and is generally known in the industry as being very conservative and “blue chip.” Associates, all MBA graduates, work long hours but are rewarded with high compensation and extra time off at the completion of project milestones.

Because of its clientele, SCCG has imposed a dress code for its employees: conservative suits in blue, grey or black for both men and women; no visible tattoos; no hair colour that is “not found naturally in nature”; no visible body piercings except for earrings on women; no beards on men; and neatly-coiffed hairstyles for both men and women. Today, you and the office manager, Renaldo, are interviewing a candidate for an opening as a Senior Management Consultant.

The candidate’s resume is impeccable: graduated top of his class from a prestigious university; 5 years’ experience with a well-known competitor; active in the community as a volunteer and board member of various charities; and demonstrated consulting success. However, in Renaldo’s opinion there is a problem: the candidate has a diamond stud earring in his left ear, and a tattoo is visible on his wrist and knuckles of his right hand. Renaldo is concerned that the candidate’s appearance will be a distraction for SCCG’s clients, and may cause other SCCG associates to bend the rules of the dress code.

 Discussion Questions

1. What does the law and human rights codes in your jurisdiction say about dress in the workplace?

2. Can you and Renaldo decline to hire this candidate as a result of his visible body piercing and tattoo?

3. Can you ask employees to remove visible body piercings and to cover up tattoos while working?

4. What advice would you give to the management team of SCCG in this case?

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