CRITICAL THINKING ASSIGNMENT
The critical thinking assignment (#3) deals with interviewing a candidate with a disability for a bank Customer Service Representative position. You will be asked to review the interview included in the CT assignment, then incorporate the assigned questions into a complete paper. Your paper must include a cover page, an executive summary and a maximum of three pages of text.
Critical Thinking Assignment # 3 (Week 4, 25 points)
Hiring a Personal Banker
Directions: For this exercise, you are acting as a Retail Bank Manager and are charged with the task of interviewing and hiring an induvial for a part time Personal Banker position. The bank has 12 branch offices and 250 employees. After reading the assignment incorporate your answers to the questions in a complete paper. You must include a cover page, an abstract and a maximum of three pages of text.
Anna has multiple sclerosis. Until 10 months ago she was able to walk with the aid of a cane. Now she uses a wheel chair to get about, but she can stand, unassisted for very short periods of time. She has recent experience as a cashier in a local cafeteria, which when out of business a few weeks ago. She worked part-time at the cafeteria for six years and was highly regarded by the manager and staff as a pleasant hardworking person. Anna left when the establishment closed. Before that she worked as a concierge in a local hotel for five years. She speaks English and Spanish fluently. Her credit rating and work background are impeccable and she has excellent references.
Anna answered the following advertisement in her local newspaper for the position of Personal Banker with a large, well-known bank in the Southeast:
Personal Banker (P/T)
The ideal candidate must be available to work a flexible schedule. Good communication skills, positive customer service attitude, and professional manner a must. Qualified candidates must have 1-year recent cash handling and customer service experience. Bilingual (English/Spanish) required. We offer a pleasant working environment, competitive salary. Call Monday after 9:00AM.
Anna called and, after answering a few basic questions about her previous work experience, spoke with Dave, the branch manager. He asked her some additional questions about money handling. Dave asked her to come in for an interview.
This office is a one of 12 branch offices serving a community of 100,000 people. The manager likes to maintain a pool of five Personal Banker. Dave attempts to schedule them around peak times to best serve the customers. Competition is fierce with five other banks to serve the community. High customer service is a driving force in the organization. The manager prides himself in leading the company in customer service. Personal Bankers perform a variety of tasks at their stations and also cover the drive-through window. The drive-through window is two steps below the rest of the bank floor. Historically, the manager has had difficulty finding qualified people who are bilingual to fill this vacancy.
Anna arrives for her appointment 15 minutes early. She is eager to make a good impression and needs to get back into the workforce. She has many ideas and thoughts about how to perform the job.
Dave is under pressure to fill this position. He has not been impressed with the previous applicants. He is impressed with Anna’s resume and her references. Her work experience appears to be more than adequate. Dave does not know that Anna uses a wheelchair and has never interviewed a disabled person. Dave’s secretary escorts Anna into Dave’s office.
Dave: So, you must be Anna. I’m Dave, the branch manager. Come on in.
Anna: Thank you. I hope I’m not too early.
Dave: No, not at all. Let’s begin the interview, shall we? You indicated on the phone that your previous job was that of a cashier in the cafeteria, correct?
Anna: Yes, that’s right. I usually worked the peak shift from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm on my designated days. In addition, to the usual register duties, such as keeping track of my cash balance. I also was responsible for the writing and placement of the daily specials menu boards, iced beverage stock count, and the general care and cleanliness of the condiments/register area.
Dave: Tell me, Anna, how did you manage to work at a register for six hours?
Anna: Well I usually took a break after the coffee break crowd left but before the lunch crowd arrived.
Dave: That’s not exactly what I meant. I mean, well, let’s talk about the job here as Personal Banker. All Personal Banker here have to work their stations and share the drive-through station. They don’t only sit or stand at their stations. They also have to run signature cards and research items. When a customer arrives at the drive-through, which is ever teller is free first automatically moves to that station. During peak times it gets pretty hectic behind the counter. It’s hard to imagine your being able to keep up with all of this. We cannot afford to slow the pace.
Anna: If you’re asking me how I would be able to perform under the situation you described, I have some ideas about how I can work both stations. I thought about this after we scheduled the interview, and I think there are some practical ways to work it out.
Dave: I’m glad that you thought about this ahead of time. That is quite commendable. But, on to another demand of the job. We are very proud of our customer service record. In fact, we enjoy the best customer service reputation in the community. We deliver quality work in a timely manner. We know that our customers don’t want to waste time waiting in line. So we strive to meet their needs. And we deliver what they have come to expect, great customer service. That’s why we schedule for peak times, even though the hours are somewhat irregular for employees. How do you see yourself fitting into our environment?
Anna: I understand the flexible schedule and don’t mind working that way. In fact, after we spoke on the phone to set up this interview, I spoke with a teller at my bank so as to understand what you meant in the ad by a flexible schedule. Also I don’t believe that there was ever a complaint about my work or my not being able to keep up with the workflow when I worked at the cafeteria. I am very quick with transactions and I enjoy meeting the customers. I got to know most of the regulars pretty well at the cafeteria.
Dave: Well, I think this about wraps up the questions that I have. Is there anything else that I can answer for you before we finish up?
Anna: Do you want to know about my ideas for doing the job?
Dave: I think that might be a bit premature. We can talk about that if you are one of the finalists for the position. Anything else?
Anna: No, I think I am about finished here. Thank you for the appointment.
Dave: Certainly, we will let you know of our decision soon. Good-bye.
Dave is in a quandary. He realizes that Anna is qualified for the position, but he does now know how to approach the issue of her using a wheelchair. No other candidate to-date is as experienced with both money handling and the language requirement as she. The main office wants Dave to make a decision within the next two days. The prospects for the remaining interviews do not look promising. Dave decides to interview everyone who has applied before making a decision.
Over the next two days Dave talks to two of his best friends instead of the Bank’s Human Resource department. They are professionals in their fields and are managers as well. Dave still has not interviewed anyone as highly qualified as Anna, but has reservations about hiring her. Dave’s friend Ben is in real estate and owns a small firm. Ben advises Dave to follow his gut feeling and not take the risk.
Carl, an insurance actuary, advises Dave to rethink the situation and develop, alternatives for Anna since she is the most qualified to perform the job. Carl’s main point is that the adjustments to the work environment might not be costly and the positive impact to customers could work to the bank’s advantage.
Dave decides to hire another person, Nancy. Even though Nancy does not speak Spanish fluently, Dave decides that she can get by and, if necessary, use another Personal Banker to handle intricate transactions in Spanish. Dave feels that he has made the right decision and secretly hopes he does not lose another Personal Banker in the near future.
Anna receives a letter of thanks from Dave who states that she is not going to get the job. Anna feels that she did not get an opportunity to explain her ideas about performing the job. She wrestles with the thought of legal action. After a few days she contacts an attorney to discuss the incident. The attorney recommends that they file suit against the bank.
As you prepare your assessment consider the following questions:
· Do Anna and her attorney have a case? If so, explain your reasoning.
· If so, what is the basis for the discrimination?
· Could Anna perform the essential functions of the job?
· What could the bank do to accommodate Anna’s disability?
· Would you consider the accommodations reasonable?
· Would this accommodation for Anna create an undue hardship on the bank?
· What is your assessment of her employment interview?
· What if anything did Dave do correctly?
· Could you defend Dave’s selection of Nancy for the teller position?
· What are the legal implications of Dave’s actions?
Look at the facts of this case carefully. Think critically.
The questions above should be incorporated into your paper. Do not present your paper as a series of questions and answers.