For many employers it may feel like recruitment is a legal minefield; applicants for jobs are protected from discrimination on the grounds of sex, disability, race, age, religion and religious beliefs as well as sexual orientation and gender reassignment. This protection is provided by the Equality Act 2010 and applies to all areas of the recruitment process from the job advert right through to the terms of employment that are offered and whether they are offered a job.
To help employers ensure they are recruiting legally through all stages of the recruitment process, aspire cambridge have put together some dos and don’ts in recruitment;
Do prepare a job description and person specification for the job role carefully; making sure you think about what job exists and the main tasks and responsibilities of the job. Think about the experience, knowledge, skills and qualifications you require from the person applying for the role and consider which are desirable and which are essential.
Advertising the Job Role
Do think about how to reach the target audience for the job role and where your ideal employee may be – remember that things may have changed since you last employed for this role. Do take the time to ensure the words you use in the job advert cannot be construed as discrimination (directly or indirectly).
Don’t just consider potential candidates that have been recommended to you by existing employees and don’t forget that those employees on maternity or parental leave may want to apply for the role so ensure that you advertise the job role internally and externally to attract the most diverse pool of talent and skills.
Applications for the Job
Do prepare one standard and consistent approach to ensure that all candidates are viewed on the same level and be prepared to make reasonable adjustments to the application form and process. Do make sure that you are careful with the personal information that you collect on the application form and do make sure the information that you require for equal opportunities is separated from the application before the applicant is considered.
Do score individual applications using your person specification and job description; create a clear framework to score applicants in a fair and equal way and do consider how many candidates you will put through to the next stage of your recruitment process.
Do ask the applicants if they require any adjustments to be made for them to attend the interview, do interview applicants with relevant colleagues where possible and do ask all applicants the same questions for a fair interview process. Keep records of the interview to allow you to provide feedback and evidence that you process was fair and not discriminatory.
Don’t ask candidates any questions about their personal or domestic circumstances. Your questions must be relevant to the role you are interviewing for – you do not need to know if someone is planning on having a baby soon for example!
Do ensure you are clear what the expectations of the role is, what the business offers in terms of a benefits package and when the candidate can expect to hear from you following their interview.
Under the Equality Act you are no longer allowed to ask about the candidates health until you have made a job offer.
Making Offers to Applicants
Do ensure you provide a full job offer containing all relevant terms and conditions. You can send the job offer and wait for this to be accepted prior to sending out a contract of employment. A contract of employment must be issued within 8 weeks of employment.
Pre-Employment Checks for Applicants
Do check that the applicant has a right to work in the UK, their references are satisfactory, their background information is verified and do consider if any health or criminal record checks need to be made.
It is highly recommended that you seek advice for your recruitment process because if you get the recruitment process wrong it can be very expensive – discrimination claims are uncapped in an Employment Tribunal.
Here at aspire cambridge we can help you;
- provide contingent, retained, internal or master vendor recruitment services – We’ll find you the ideal candidate to match your vacancy and if we don’t.. it’s simple – there’s no fee!
- devise a recruitment policy
- provide recruitment training for recruiting managers
- provide advice on a pay as you go basis
Our team of recruitment and hr specialists are on hand to offer recruitment solutions in an industry leading and unique way. We are a recruitment agency, employment business and human resources consultancy with a difference. We bring passion, know-how and commitment to help you find the right talent, at the right time.