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BME candidates - Contracting.

(7 Posts)
UmmBum Thu 07-Apr-16 13:05:20

My DH is thinking of moving into contracting. We have a secondary source of income which is seasonal and feel financially this would be a good move. He plans to contract for six months of the year and work on our business for the other six months.

He is qualified and experienced in his field (Procurement and Contract Management) but is a practising Muslim with a big beard. It sounds ridiculous to me, but he is worried being of BME background is going to put him at a disadvantage. I realise this is a sensitive area, but wondered if gis fears have any foundation?

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UmmBum Thu 07-Apr-16 13:05:47


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MrsMargoLeadbetter Sat 09-Apr-16 18:02:24


Sorry that has to even be a worry for him.

I would say that his appearance/religion probably matters less as a contractor, as the company generally see you as a temporary supplier.

So even if the hiring manager had issues with hiring a muslim (which obviously they shouldn't) then they might be more likely to be ok with a contractor who is temporary. I think that would the same with other 'issues' - it won't be the company's problem, as they can just end the contract.

A couple of points -

- If there are biggoted hiring managers, would your DH want to work there anyway? Not all potential clients are the right clients - which might seem incredulous before you leap into self-employment - the concept of turning down work when you need the money - but it is a point.

So if your DH comes across a racist potential boss, he can choose not to work there.

- I assume your DH has had a successful career-to-date, where his apperance & religion haven't impacted. This is likely to continue. His employment 'status' is the only thing that will be changing.

- Most work comes from recommendation, I find. So he needs to focus on his network, start building up his LinkedIn contacts.

I think he'll only know if this is an issue once he starts unless he has evidence that all contract procurement managers are non-muslim.

There is also the 'positive' point that he might actually be recruited because he is a muslim/looks like a muslim.

If a company is all white/black then it could well see the benefit of improving its diversity for the benefit of its stakeholders/to tick a box etc....

Just my thoughts.

Wishing him good luck.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sat 09-Apr-16 18:06:01

Sorry should say the last point isn't ideal either, I am sure everyone wants to be recruited for their skills and reputation..

leftfork Wed 13-Apr-16 17:48:05

Hi there,
I'm a black female over 40. I've been contracting as a data analyst for 5 years. I worried about my "BME status" at the beginning but I can honestly say it hasn't been as difficult as I imagined. I do believe it's easier because I am a contractor but also being based in London. Of course there are certain industries where I think I am excluded but not sure if that is because I'm a woman or my colour............If you are good then contracts will be renewed - this is my experience, hope that helps. Good luck!

mollie123 Wed 13-Apr-16 17:58:46

when I was a contractor - the fact I was a woman, white, middle class and middle-aged made no differance as I was assessed on my ability to do the job and past references.
it was not 'ticking any boxes' as contractors are temporary employees and have no employment rights or protection.

UmmBum Wed 13-Apr-16 20:35:47

Thanks both. He's confident in his abilities so I'm sure he'll be fine.

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