How to avoid discrimination during the recruitment process…

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Did you know that a person doesn’t even need to be an employee to bring an Employment Tribunal Claim against your Company? Discrimination during a recruitment process can just as easily result in a claim being brought against your business.

The average tribunal award for 2018/2019 discrimination claims sits at an average of circa £12,000 (for those claims that were successful) and does not include the associated legal fees incurred in defending any such claim. The highest sum awarded last year (in the case of disability discrimination) was an eye-watering £416,015!

Tribunal outcomes are also a matter of public record and can be viewed by customers and clients alike. Consider whether you want your Company to have the reputation of that of a business that openly discriminates when you are undertaking any recruitment process.

So, what is discrimination?

Discrimination is when any employee or job applicant is treated unfairly or unequally due to a protected characteristic they have.

The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against job applicants because of a protected characteristic; failing to offer a job applicant a position because of a protected characteristic is considered direct discrimination.

What are the characteristics that are protected?

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender re-assignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

So how do you avoid a recruitment process being discriminatory?

You must treat everyone with fairness, dignity, and respect, regardless of any differences. Whilst you may envisage yourself hiring a young, unmarried, straight female who does not have or want children you simply cannot skew your recruitment process to allow for this. To do so would be completely illegal.

Firstly, decide on the skills you need for the role. Remain objective, ensuring skills are easy for people from different backgrounds to fulfil. If you need a hand with developing a job description we include this in the recruitment process.

Secondly, create your job advert. Discriminatory advertising is against the law; you must not include anything that could be taken as discriminatory. You should avoid language that could be seen as restrictive, such as ‘waitress’ as this implies only females can apply.

Thirdly, select candidates you wish to interview solely based on the skills and criteria you have set. Don’t allow bias or personal prejudices to impact which applicants your shortlist.  

Fourthly, ask relevant and appropriate interview questions only that in no way relate to protected characteristics. For example, you cannot ask a woman if her intent is to have children, even if you think she may be pregnant at the time.

You must also interview fairly. It is advisable to ask the same questions of all candidates. Try not to make assumptions based on certain behaviours. For example, a candidate may not wish to shake your hand due to their culture.

Finally, record your interview notes so that you can offer relevant feedback, irrespective of whether a candidate is successful or not. Our ATS has its own CRM system and plenty of storage to record your thoughts.

Let us take the strain for you! We assist many of our clients with their recruitment needs at a fraction of the cost of Recruitment Agencies. Not only that but we work as an extension of our client’s businesses so we know which candidates will culturally be the right fit.

We can easily ensure your recruitment process is fair, transparent, non-discriminatory and runs smoothly by using our branded Applicant Tracking System, you can use your ATS page on a website as a careers page as it is branded with your logos. Many of our clients do this so that we can jump in and help with shortlisting or interviewing candidates at any point in the recruitment process.

Focusing on simplicity and ease of use, our ATS is a cloud-based solution with the emphasis on finding the right candidate quickly, with the additional benefit of a positive candidate experience. All our candidates receive a notification that we have received their CV and we can regret or arrange interviews seamlessly also via the system.

Designed to reduce the administration surrounding the recruitment process, by engaging our cost-effective recruitment services, you will have more time and money to focus on your core business activity.

Give us a call to discuss your recruitment project. 0118 324 2526

#hireful #recruitment #discrimination #bias #Applicants #CVs #selection #candidateexperience

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