Failing to offer a candidate a position because of a protected characteristic is unlawful and amounts to direct discrimination.
We don’t need to explain the reasons why it’s important for employers to have an understanding of this, but we have pulled together a few do’s and don’ts to ensure that you do avoid discrimination in recruitment:
1. Have more than one person conduct the interview
This helps to avoid decisions being based on one person’s potentially biased or subjective view.
2. Make sure you focus on the candidate’s suitability for the job
- Do explore only what is relevant to the job description and the person specification.
- Don’t ask any questions which could imply you are basing decisions on any protected characteristics such as age, gender, race, disability, marital status or religion.
3. Be consistent
- Do plan questions around the job itself, and ask all candidates the same questions, adapting slightly as required.
- 10to3 have a great video on structuring your interviews which will help with this.
- Do ensure that any specific questions about a candidate’s CV are relevant to the job.
4. Don’t make any assumptions
- Don’t assume that someone of a particular culture, religion or age won’t fit in with the rest of the team.
- Don’t assume that a woman with three children (if she volunteers that information to you) isn’t going to be able to manage a demanding job.
- Don’t assume that older people won’t be able to use technology or be creative.
5. Make reasonable adjustments
- Don’t ask questions about the candidate’s health, or whether they have a disability.
- Do ask if candidates have any requirements to enable them to take part in the recruitment process.
6. Apply a fair way of scoring candidates
- Do ensure that any scoring system is based carefully against the job description and the person specification.
- Do decide how marks will be awarded and do apply the scoring consistently.
7. Keep records
- Do make notes during the interview.
- Do keep a record of how scores were applied.
- Do give candidates good quality feedback on why they did, or didn’t get the job.
Having the right people who care about your organisation, customers and service is of course a priority, but legislation and best practice are important factors to consider when recruiting.
If your organisation needs to brush up on what to do and what not to do to avoid discrimination in recruitment, this one-day workshop focuses on the practicalities and skills required to do this effectively.