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There is a lot of literature about how to measure the quality of a hire. All I want to do is ask a simple yes/no question to my employees after 30 days of working with a new hire:

Do you like working with your new colleague?

My question to you is not whether or not you think that this question will get me anywhere, but rather if it is even ethical to ask that kind of question?

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    Welcome to TWP! Legal advice is something for lawyers not TWP.. Please read the help section about which questions should be avoided here and take a tour ;) Maybe you can rephrase your question a bit to make it a better fit.
    – iLuvLogix
    Aug 9, 2021 at 12:59
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    Thank you @iLuvLogix. I did some adjustments
    – Amberlamps
    Aug 9, 2021 at 13:04
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    Unless likability by their colleagues is the most important measure of the quality of a new hire, I would not ask such a question.
    – sf02
    Aug 9, 2021 at 13:07
  • Likeability is usually part of a "360 review" where you ask peers what they think of one another. You know your office better than we do. Do you think the information will be useful? Aug 9, 2021 at 13:22
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    Unethical? No. Productive? Also no. Direct observation of team dynamics will give you better results than doing this sort of "survey" Aug 10, 2021 at 9:41

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The question is ethical by itself. You do have to watch out for some sensitive areas - for example, if the employee is a woman, and everyone else is a man, it could become a discrimination/sexism issue (whether warranted or not). But otherwise, simply asking people whether they like working with a person is fine.

There are countless reasons why such a question will do very little to measure the quality of the hire, but since you said you're not asking about that, I'll set that aside.

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It's not an ethics issue. But it's not a useful question either in terms of quality.

There are plenty of people I like who are mediocre or even incompetent at their jobs.

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A coworker's "likability" should not be more than 10% of the measure of quality of an employee. That's at least my personal opinion.

I have coworkers that I do not like but are great at their job. And I know others that do not like me. And I think that's only human nature not to like everyone and not to be liked by everyone.

In my opinion, giving this measure more than it's worth(on paper or behind closed doors), opens the door for discrimination in the workplace and, if not, makes it easy to be a heavily politicized one. Where forming alliances is more important than actually getting the work done.

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There is a lot of literature about how to measure the quality of a hire. All I want to do is ask a simple yes/no question

There IS a lot of literature on job-performance measurement. And, I expect, none of it will ever suggest that one yes/no question will produce accurate or useable results.

Even companies who perform elaborate, time-consuming "360 reviews" every year for every employee can't consistently and uniformly produce truly useable results. They're usually just a theatrical exercise done by HR to justify raises and promotions that are entirely based on other criteria.

The best thing you can do is to have an honest discussion with one or two trusted employee's that have worked with the person in question. Make it clear you are trying to get a picture of the person's job performance and you want to assess their fit to the organization. You will find that it's always more complex (and more interesting) than a yes/no result can give you.

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