Network F Supporting the adaptability of firms and employees to structural economic changes and the use of information technology and other new technologies.
Project name Fair Play Employment. Promotion of Business Culture and Labour Market Ethics.
Project number F0290

Project description

In preparation for the project, its initiators have conducted an analysis of discrimination on the Polish job market and its causes. Aside from economic factors, linked to high unemployment and a low number of new jobs, another highly significant factor is the low corporate ethic in the area of human resources management. Companies overexploit their workers and/or do not make use of their abilities in an appropriate manner. Also, employers often base their decisions on certain group stereotypes when hiring or dismissing workers. This especially pertains to people over the age of 45, women, and people with disabilities. During company restructuring, workers are not being evaluated with respect to the actual work they perform. Their knowledge and enthusiasm for the job are not taken into account. Negative group stereotypes are the only criteria used. Stereotyping makes good human resources management impossible and actually contributes to slowing down the company's long-term development. For the company, such a situation results in a negative image. Meanwhile, having a good reputation in the community and among one's business partners is crucial and cannot be underrated in today's competitive market. Building a company's good image is based on adherence to ethical hiring procedures and to the principles of corporate responsibility. Companies that use honest and objective guidelines in hiring attain better financial results that those that discriminate and overexploit their workers.

Meanwhile, employers are not always aware of this association and believe that short-term profits are better than long-term planning. In actuality, improvements in a company's human resources management ethic result in more highly-motivated workers, which it turn translates to higher financial profits. In times when the economy is changing at lightning speed, forcing companies to be more efficient, cost-effective and innovative, and to use their resources better, businesses need workers who are active, creative and involved.

In connection with these problem areas, the project is concentrated on improving the human resources management ethic by defining and introducing the Standards of Fair Play in Hiring. Project initiators will want to bring to employers' attention the problem of worker discrimination, by showing which specific values (accountability, sensible management, striving to lower the business risk, while increasing one's profits and market position) are endangered in the absence of a proper business ethic. Promoting these values while simultaneously combating discrimination is the key to attaining the goals of the project.

Project beneficiaries, who are currently being discriminated against, will have higher chances of being hired thanks to developing the right attitude and gaining skills which are vital in the job hunt. The final group beneficiaries will consist of 40 workers, aged over 45, who are in danger of losing their jobs, and who will take part in special training designed especially for them. They will have the opportunity to develop behaviours and skills needed in adapting to structural changes, which will also increase their competitiveness on the job market. Some of the topics included in the training will be: presenting and defending one's point of view, team management, negotiation and creative problem-solving. Courses in information technology and communication tools are also being planned.

Thanks to a web page focused on fair hiring practices, potential employees will have access to employers who adhere to such standards. Through employment at these worker-friendly companies, beneficiaries will improve their chances of experiencing personal development. One hundred business owners and/or human resources specialists representing their companies, from the Podkarpackie, Mazowieckie and Kujawsko-Pomorskie regions, will also be involved in the project and will undergo training in the area of applying the Standards of Fair Play in Hiring. Moreover, eight companies will be selected which will formally adopt the above-mentioned standards. Participation in the project will result in the companies' increased competitiveness and improved business image, in addition to the creation of effective teams of employees.

Once a company applies the principles of corporate responsibility, it will be in a better position to work with the local community. Its reputation on the market will improve and consumer confidence in its products and services will rise.

In the project, a set of tools will be created (Standards of Fair Play in Hiring), which will help make companies more competitive and the hiring process more open and transparent, especially in relation to workers aged 45 and over, who are in danger of losing their jobs. Of the project results, the most significant will be: reports and analyses pertaining to discrimination and ethics of hiring employees within Polish companies, a business management model based on the principles of corporate responsibility, and the 20 Standards of Fair Play in Hiring. Dissemination of the results will be an integral part of the actions taken by the Partnership institutions.

Partners involved in the project want to reach the widest possible audience - business owners and employees, who fear losing their jobs, as well as individuals responsible for government policy in the economic and social spheres - in order to be more effective in eliminating discrimination against workers aged 45 and older, and to encourage companies to adopt socially-conscious and development-focused models of management. Information about changes in the legislature, which may aid and reward the adoption of socially-responsible business practices by companies in Poland, will also be presented and publicised.