1. Create and Retain a Paper Trail
In order to protect the employer from any potential discrimination claims, it is important to keep a paper trail. By doing so, it shows the decision making process that was taken by the employer both during and after the interview.
The paper trail should demonstrate that selection decisions were based on objective evidence of the candidate’s ability to do the job satisfactorily and not on discriminatory assumptions or prejudices. An Employment Tribunal may draw adverse inferences regarding discrimination if there is no paper trail to back up the decision.
2. Comply with Data Protection Laws
Whilst it is important that a paper trail is maintained, employers must be careful not to breach data protection laws in doing so. Once the interview process is over, employers must balance their need to keep the records in order to justify their decisions with their duty under the data protection laws not to hold data for any longer period than is necessary. Discrimination claims must be brought within three months of the event, so it would be justifiable to hold the records for at least this length of time.
3. Provide Training for those Involved in the Recruitment Process
In order to reduce the possibility of unlawful discrimination during the recruitment stage, it is advisable that those involved have undergone equality and diversity training. Always keep training records so that you have evidence of who has been trained and when.
4. Take Care with Adverts and Responses
Adverts must be written so as to ensure that there can be no prospect of a discrimination claim made against the employer. For example, if the role requires a certain number of GCSEs the employer should state that other equivalent qualifications will be accepted so as not to discriminate against an older generation who did not have the opportunity to take GCSEs.
Responses must be objective and non-discriminatory. It is not only employees who can bring a claim for direct discrimination. If an applicant feels that they did not receive an interview based solely on their race, age, gender etc., they may be entitled to bring a claim.
5. Watch out for Inappropriate Questions
The interview brings the highest risk in the recruitment process. Whilst an employer wants to ensure that they are hiring the right person, the employer must be careful to ask the questions requiring answers in the right way. For example:
|Don't Ask ||Do Ask |
|What country are you from? ||Are you eligible to work in the UK? |
|Do you have, or plan to have children? ||Are you available to work overtime on occasion? |
|How much longer do you plan to work before retiring? ||What are your long term career goals? |
6. Give Feedback
Having secured the correct employee, it is good practice to give feedback to those who were unsuccessful should they request this. Failure to give feedback when requested could give rise to implications that the reasons for rejection were discriminatory.
If you would like help with the recruitment process please contact a member of our Employment Team on 01279 755777.