During the recruitment process, companies must ensure that they abide by The Equality Act 2010, to ensure that they do not discriminate against any applicants. Discrimination is the unfair treatment of an individual due to a protected characteristic.
There are three main types of discrimination these are:
- Direct Discrimination – where someone is treated differently due to a certain trait
- Indirect Discrimination – where policies are implemented that have a negative impact on someone due to a certain trait
- Harassment – where a hostile environment is created for someone by targeting a certain trait.
The Equality Act 2010 made it unlawful for any employer to discriminate against job applicants due to a protected characteristic.
The Protected characteristics are:
- Religion or belief
- Pregnancy and Maternity
- Marriage or Civil Partnership
How to ensure Equality and Inclusion in the Recruitment Process
It is vital that during the recruitment process employers apply fairness and do not discriminate against candidates or potential candidates.
- When creating job adverts and job descriptions it is vital to ensure that:
- Consideration is given to where the job will be advertised to ensure being mindful of different groups who may wish to apply for the role
- The language does not use gender terms
- Skills required for the role must be highlighted on the advert
- Anyone from outside of the business is able to easily understand the roles of the job
- Application Forms must be:
- Easy for candidates to complete
- Have instructions clearly defined and not be over complicated to annoy candidates
- When shortlisting candidates’ employers must:
- Use the skills required on the job advert and job description to assess the job applicants against to ensure fairness in the screening process
- Try to use more than one person to conduct the shortlisting, to eliminate any bias
- Do not allow the person shortlisting to see information such as name, date of birth, or area candidate lives in, for example.
- When interviewing candidates’ employers must:
- Check if candidates need any reasonable adjustments to be made to assist them during the interview
- Not ask any questions relating to a candidates age, marital status, sexual orientation, whether they intend to have children, as these questions can all be deemed as discriminatory
- Ask the same questions to each candidate to ensure fairness
- Ensure they have a fair scoring system to score each candidate
- Keep records and notes of the interview, what questions were asked and candidates responses
- Train anyone who is conducting the interviews on discrimination
Why do employers need a diverse workforce?
Diverse workforces are proven to be more successful as they have higher levels of creativity, due to benefitting from a wide range of employees, providing different knowledge and expert skills. Diverse workforces can be more appealing for candidates to apply for a position as they show that the employer welcomes people from all cultures and backgrounds.