Hiring & Smokers

Fantastic tip for hiring managers:  Some companies refuse to hire smokers.  USA Today’s article “Workplaces Ban Not Only Smoking, But Smokers Themselves” by Wendy Koch describes this phenomenon that should catch on.  Not hiring smokers is a good idea for a few reasons.  First, companies must hire smokers who are likely to “fit in” and succeed in their corporate culture.  So, if a company’s culture is non-smoking or health and wellness-oriented, then the company should hire people who smoke and, probably, display other illness-related problems.  

Second, smokers make a stinky work atmosphere.  Nowadays, many employees prefer to breathe clean air, unpolluted by smoke or even cologne.  This fosters employees focusing energy on working, rather than avoiding harmful or unpleasant aromas.  

Third, smokers cost more for healthcare and insurance.  With rising concern about lowering healthcare and benefits costs, not hiring smokers is an easy “win” for employers.  

Fourth, smokers take “breaks” to smoke.  Sometimes that “break” time should be work time.  Any company who hires smokers must realize it sets the tone that all employees, smokers and non-smokers, can take extra “breaks” to indulge in personal habits, whether smoking or texting or goofing off.   

So, hiring managers should seriously consider not hiring smokers and other job applicants who display harmful habits.  Sure, some people will argue that as long as work gets done, why should the company care.  But, if hiring managers want to hire job applicants who “fit in” the corporate culture, do not stink up the workplace nor raise benefits costs nor take non-productive “breaks,” then not hiring smokers is a financially good method for hiring managers to implement.