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Auctioneers compete for jobs — contracts if you will — in order to sell cars, livestock, estates, real estate, etc. In many cases, multiple auctioneers may be competing for the same engagement. Our question today is: Did the “best” auctioneer get the job?

What is “best?” Best bid caller? Best marketer? Best in terms of likeability and trustworthiness? Best reputation? How do people decide which auctioneer to hire? It certainly helps to be liked and trusted.

However, what are the criteria? We would offer it varies with the client. Some clients need high-caliber bid calling technique, others need marketing prowess, and others need expertise in selling like-kind property.

Our country does not have a terribly good record of always hiring the right person based upon skill. What CEO of a company prior to the 1990’s was not a white male who was above average in height? Best person? Maybe and maybe not — but he was the right color and was considered tall.

Affirmative actions are laws and rules prohibiting discrimination based upon race, creed, and national origin — and other protected classes — and are implemented around the world. In the United States, President John F. Kennedy introduced affirmative action by Executive Order 10925.

The Rooney Rule is a National Football League policy that requires league teams to interview ethnic-minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. It is an example of affirmative action, even though there is no hiring quota or hiring preference given to minorities, only an interviewing quota. It was established in 2003, and variations of the rule are now in place in other industries.

The National Auctioneers Association didn’t have a woman president until 2011: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/christie-king-first-female-president-of-naa/. Many companies around the United States still haven’t had their first female leader, nor anyone of color or race other than white/White … for that matter, every President of the United States has been a white male except one. Most all have been heterosexual, and most married. No women nor openly gay or homosexual … yet.

Here’s my observation. We have not always hired the best auctioneer (or the best anyone for that matter) until more recently when companies and organizations were forced to consider non-white, non-male non-heterosexual choices, and we’re not done going beyond “considering” the best candidate as we need to hire the best candidate.

Of course, a white male could be the best auctioneer choice, and the odds favor this demographic as most auctioneers are precisely white and male. The crime against society isn’t hiring a white male auctioneer, but hiring anyone based upon color, race, or sex — or any other factor than the skills needed for that particular assignment.

We seem to be a profession and country in a phase of transition where we are possibly discriminating a bit less. However, we have tremendous strides to make in order to further lessen senseless discrimination and truly hire the best auctioneer — and everyone else — for the job at hand.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services, and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, and an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.