Applicants with Accents

I just intereviewed a job applicant the other day. My business is very customer based, and this applicant was qualified and I liked her, but has a heavy accent (she's from Romania). I'm afraid that if I hire her, my customers will have a hard time undestanding her. What do I do? Is it discrimination if I don't hire her?


  • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  •  "An employer may require that an employee be able to speak and understand English if the requirement is based on a business necessity."  ~~HR.BLR.com          If your business would suffer because of a lack of proper communication, I don't see where this could be determined as discrimination.  Your decision is not based on what nationality the applicant is, but rather how her performance, presentation and communication skills would adversely affect the business.


  • I agree that the focus is on the applicant's ability to communicate effectively with customers.  If customers won't be able to understand her and if that kind of communication is a big part of the job, it's not discriminatory if you don't hire her. 
  • you have to look at whether the accent materially interferes with her job performance. she was able to get through the interview and impress you enough to make you want to hire her.
  • Communication skills are a large part of customer service.  We have all interviewed candidates who have many good qualities and may be lacking in what we need in one of them, causing us to sway our decision to another candidate.  Because we happen to be dealing with a thick "accent" issue will not make this a "nationality issue".  Only you can determine how much her accent would be a detriment to the company.  Customers can lose interest quickly if the task at hand is time consuming or difficult.
  • I agree with Robin.  Communication is the key. Although the person is qualified, the need to speak so the customer understands is of prime importance. 
Sign In or Register to comment.