You’re Religious? You’re Hired!

Tim Tebow-PRN-099734The New England Patriots say that Tim Tebow’s “spirituality” was a factor in his hiring … as a football player. Yes, his spirituality.

Sure, a person’s personal life can play a role in hiring. But we don’t always admit it. Ron Katz and I talk about this in the video below. We also get into how Tebow’s signing may be a sign of the times in terms of:

  • The blurring of work and life
  • Employers’ greater knowledge of job candidates’ personal lives
  • The tension between hiring for “fit” and hiring for diversity

It’s 11 minutes, below.

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photo at the top right from



10 Comments on “You’re Religious? You’re Hired!

  1. Thanks, Todd. I wonder if a firm would be so “gung-ho” to advertise it had hired a devout and observant Muslim, Hindu, or Wiccan?


  2. Keith, I meant to make the same comment during the interview. Did I overlook saying that? Thanks for catching it, it’s one of the more valid points. ONly the best, Ron

  3. @ Ron: I think you and Todd did implicitly discuss this, when alluding to Boston’s strong Catholic/Liberal Protestant traditions, and wondered how T2’s evangelical faith might be received….I found it interesting to discuss the blurring of personal/work and the willingness of younger people to be more “out there” than previous generations. I think you are correct about that, and if you can characterize an entire cohort: I think that’s a mistake: They may think that more things are tolerated than previously, but try applying for a startup job if you’re not young, outgoing, “perky”, or from the basic socio-economic group as the founders… I worked in diversity recruiting for a major EOC (Employer of Choice) where diversity meant: “we hire all types of young, enthusiastic, (mainly white) people from upper-middle class backgrounds, just like us”.




  4. I wonder if this is more an American thing where the line of Church and State, in fact, everything to do with religion seems to be blurred. I don’t see it in the UK or Australia.

  5. Todd: Thanks for this conversation! It is wonderful and such an interesting subject that should be a topic for a panel discussion at the next ERE Expo…

    I love that you covered a number of things on my mind and I have a couple of other points:
    1. Just because someone claims they’re religious in no way guarantees their integrity. Living in one of the most conservative and religious counties in Colorado, I see the hypocrisy regularly.
    2. I don’t really like that the Patriots referred to Tebow’s spirituality. The guy’s a bible toting Christian. Can’t they just admit they hired him because of that?
    3. Though I don’t believe religion belongs in the workplace, if you’re running a religious organization it’s appropriate to hire religious types.
    4. One of my close friends whom I ride with regularly is very religious and posts all sorts of bible passages on her FB page. When we’re together she never speaks of her religion or wears it on her sleeve. This is why I’m friends with her.

  6. Very interesting about your friend. Some people are the opposite — they’d say anything in person, but not on Facebook.

  7. Great comments all, thanks.

    @Andrea, in the U.S. it is fascinating because there is a remarkable polarization around politics and religion and at the same time there seems to be tremendous overlap as well.

    @Carol, I guess many of us have encountered religious hypocrites, as we’ve also met people who truly believe and act on their faith. I think Tebow is a true believer in his religion, although I’m sure there are those who believe he is simply cultivating the Tebow Brand, and see him as a mediocre player who is supplementing his meager talent with an image that is hard to bash. Hence Kraft citing his spirituality. The writer and cartoonist Randy K. Milholland reminds us to “Never confuse the faith with the supposedly faithful.”

    Only the best,

  8. It is fascinating to watch from over the pond. I personally think that the line should not be blurred. Church and spirituality have not business being in business or government. From over here, it looks insincere and just another branding and marketing tool.

  9. @ Andrea: The Western and Southern U.S. are different from the much rest of the Western World ( while the Midwest and Coasts are more similar in values.

    @ Carol: I grew up in a similar small town in Eastern New Mexico with 10,000 people and 35 churches, mainly fundamentalist Protestant- it was “dry” until 1975, and many of the people were quite intolerant. It has left me a lasting distaste for people who wish to *impose their religious (and cultural) beliefs on others. What many of these folks don’t realize is not only do you have freedom for your religion, but I have freedom FROM your religion….In the workplace, I feel that as much accommodation and tolerance for individual religious practices should be allowed, and I draw the line at onsite proselytization.


    *I do not believe that allowing Group A to practice their beliefs among themselves if Group B finds those practices unpleasant to be an “imposition” on Group B.

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