Unlawful discrimination in recruitment processes happens, on most occasions, because people who are undertaking the recruiting have not reviewed or really pulled their process apart to see where they are possibly being discriminatory.
We have been asked to assist employers with their recruitment and it has become apparent that some “Tips” are in order to help avoid discrimination in recruiting and selecting new employees.
- Find your Recruitment and Selection Policy in your document/policy file and read through it carefully. Are you leaving too much of the process to guess work and “gut feelings”? If you wrote the policy, can someone else pick it up, follow it and get it all correct? Are the applicants for the role going to be treated fairly?
- Review the position description and your list of requisites for the role you are recruiting for. What does a potential applicant really need in the way of:-
- Formal qualifications/licences
- Are your requirements genuine for the specific role? Is having a clear police record an inherent requirement of the role?
- Prepare your advertisement, be specific about the role while making sure not to utilise discriminatory language and that the terms you use are not reinforcing stereotypes. Have you considered where you will advertise to ensure you reach the widest possible group of potential new employees?
- Who will be included in the selection of potential new employees? Does everyone on the panel understand their role in the process and are they aware of Equal Opportunity and the various Anti Discrimination Acts? (Age, Race, Sex, Disability etc) Do you have gender and race balance on your selection panel?
- Interview questions are a part of your recruitment and selection process, so these too require a regular review and possibly a re-write. Be very aware of asking unlawful questions; consider why you are asking the particular question, how do the questions you have prepared help you determine the best candidate for the role.
- Be responsible and prepared to be accountable for your decisions. Why did you really choose one person over another? Have you really done as much as you can to ensure that the person you are selecting above all the others is the most appropriate person for the role?