We Only Hire Republicans

Before you go all Obama on me, let me explain.  A Stanford Business School economist recently studied the impact of political partisanship and attractiveness – believing that people find those of the same political party that they share, more attractive than someone from an opposing party.  From the article in Slate:

“In the first experiment, 197 subjects were brought into a Stanford behavioral lab and shown profiles of fictional people. The profiles were made to look just like those posted on dating websites. The researchers could play with different variables—such as keeping the photo the same while switching the fictional person’s religion, level of educational attainment, or political preference.

The results showed that religion could cause a 4.5 percent swing in how eager a subject was to date a fictional prospect. Education had a 3 percent effect. And matched political ideology also had a 3 percent effect. Even if the fictional person’s photo stayed exactly the same, ratings of physical attractiveness increased by 2.2 percent if the fake person listed a political preference that was the same as the profile viewer’s….Next comes shared religion, which predicts a 50 percent interest boost. Shared ethnicity increases interest by 16.6 percent. Education has a 10.6 percent effect. And shared political partisanship raises dating interest levels by 9.5 percent.”

Now, let’s think of ‘dating interest levels’ in terms of ‘recruiting interest levels’.  There really isn’t much of a difference – like dating, in recruiting we are trying to find those who we are interested in, and those who are interested in us.  So, this begs the question – Should you share what political party you prefer to your potential candidate pool?  Think Google with billboards all over Silicon Valley that say “We Love Democrats!”

I think 99% of HR/Talent Pros would say – “Heck No!  We are ‘equal’ we love everyone the same!”  No you don’t, be honest.  If you really want high engagement and ‘cultural fit’ and 90% of your workforce votes Republican in nature – hiring more Dems doesn’t raise your numbers!   “But Tim, we are inclusive!” Why?  Why are you inclusive?  “Because inclusive organizations perform better.”  Really?  Show me that study.  The organizations in the study you’re referencing – are they like you? Same industry?  Same demographics?  Same location?  Are you sure inclusion, in your environment, leads to higher engagement? Do you have the data?  Or, does inclusion, in any form, just make you feel more politically correct?  “It’s the right thing to do.”

Here’s what organizational researchers have known for years, but because it’s not politically correct, so media doesn’t report it – inclusion isn’t for everyone.  If you live in a mostly African American demographic area/labor pool and your workforce is 100% African American – adding white, Hispanic, Asian, etc. workers to your mix – will lower your overall engagement scores – which – connect the dotted lines – lowers your overall bottom-line performance.  If you run an organization that relies on delivering the same product or service – time after time – you’ll find this to be true.  Think manufacturing and call centers.  If you run an organization where innovation and critical thinking are a must – this is not true! Think high tech, design and healthcare – studies in these fields shows inclusion to have a positive impact.

In today’s world it sounds almost blasphemous that someone would tell you -“I will only hire Republicans” – the media would have a field day with that employer.  Yet, research continues to show us that not everything we do, works for every employer.  While your emphasis on Inclusion might be great for your workforce and bottom-line.  That same exact plan could drive another business, out of business.  Drink the Kool-aid kids, but educate yourself as well – there’s a reason Congress doesn’t get along and can’t get anything done – do you want that to be your workforce?

FOT Background Check

Tim Sackett
Tim Sackett SPHR, is the ultimate Mama’s Boy!  After 15+ years of successfully leading HR and Talent Acquisition departments for Fortune 500s and smaller technical firms, Tim took over running the contingent staffing firm HRU Technical Resources in Lansing, MI. Serving as the Executive Vice President, Tim runs the company his mother started over 30 years ago, and don’t tell Mom, but he thinks he does a better job at it than she did!  Check out his blog at www.timsackett.com. Because he's got A LOT to say, and FOT just isn't enough for him.


  1. William Tincup
    William Tincup says:

    Is “all Obama on me” code for something?

  2. I personally have zero interest in being politically correct, so you can hire all the Republicans you want, just understand that you are choosing to compete for half of the talent available. That seems like kind of bad strategy. And the small group, organizational (and community level) research actually shows something different…it shows that the impact of including additional difference is much more dependent on the willingness and ability of the people involved to deal with tension in healthy, functional ways. Additional diversity does not automatically make things better or worse, it makes things different…it brings additional tension into a group, organization, or community. If the willingness and ability to deal with that tension in functional ways is not there, it leads to increased stereotyping, conflict, in-group/out-group behaviors, etc. If that willingness and ability is there it drives increased capacity for sharing information, making meaning from information, solving complex problems, generating creative solutions, etc.

  3. Tim Collins says:

    There is a fine line between provocative and offensive. “Don’t go all Obama on me” is offensive to me.

  4. Jason Paul says:

    Nice article Tim. Interesting POV.

  5. Dennis Cutter says:

    I’m not surprised that the liberals would be offended. That’s what liberals do best (get offended and whine about it). Fact is that this article isn’t just about politics–it’s about recruiting people who are a good cultural fit. If that means you hire more Republicans than Democrats (or vice versa), so be it.

    Go all Obama on THAT!

    • I am not surprised a conservative would resort to insults. That’s what conservatives….
      Interesting article. Of course whenever anything mentions any form of politics liberals and conservatives completely miss the point and take it as an opportunity not use logic. I don’t necessarily agree with what you are saying and would like to see where these studies are that you are referring to, but overall it is an interesting topic.

      • Sam says:

        What insult?

        He didn’t agree with you and he didn’t agree with the guy who was “offended” by a joke from the article.

        Move on with your lives citizens.

  6. Interesting and agreed on all points. And to the Dem’s: please lighten up. If you said “go all Bush on me” I think few Rep’s would be bothered in the least. Heck, I used to be a rabid Dem and liberal… until I realized no one owes me anything and that being outraged by (my perception of) other people’s beliefs is a fools game. Not that all Dem’s are that way, but my experience is that there are farrrrr more of them on the lib side of the coin than on the conservative side. In regards to the point made by this article, it could have said “Only Hire Dems” and you likely would not have seen a single complaint from a conservative about the title. As Tim says, the principle is equal, regardless of political persuasion. And liberals do trade in outrage, hurt feelings and purported sensitivity. Ironically, their cries for diversity and inclusion exclude conservatives. Just sayin.

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