The duty to hire the most qualified applicant

Journal of Social Philosophy 34 (2):267–284 (2003)
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The most qualified applicant is the one who has the propensity to maximally satisfy the employer’s preferences. An applicant’s propensity is a function of her willingness to work hard together with the relevant capacity or potentiality to do the tasks constituting a job. Given this account of the most qualified applicant, there is only a weak duty, if any, to hire persons based on their being the most qualified. Such a duty is not justified by reference to rights, desert, fairness, or the maximization of welfare. However, such a duty may come about via promises made by the employer or the employee who does the hiring. These results suggest that anti-discrimination laws cannot be justified based on merit, although other justifications might still be available.



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Stephen Kershnar
Fredonia State University

Citations of this work

Networking, Corruption, and Subversion.Ned Dobos - 2017 - Journal of Business Ethics 144 (3):467-478.
The Duty to Hire on Merit: Mapping the Terrain.Ned Dobos - 2016 - Journal of Value Inquiry 50 (2):353-368.

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