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Hallett
Employment Law Services Ltd

Recruitment

It is vital to the success of every business that it recruits the best possible staff, and deals with the recruitment process lawfully and fairly. However, many businesses still fail to plan and organise their recruitment process formally or effectively. Failing to deal with this matter in a planned, structured manner often leads to businesses facing claims against them in the Employment Tribunals, as well as recruiting unsuitable or poor candidates.   
Naturally the approach to recruitment should be adapted to the size, resources, and needs of the business. In addition, the level of seniority and responsibility attached to the job in question should affect the recruitment process adopted.
A number of issues must be considered in the recruitment of any employee in any business. Employers need to be aware of the risks of claims being brought against them if the recruitment process is found to have resulted in unlawful Discrimination against any job candidate. This is a factor to be considered throughout the recruitment process, from advertising the position, to the  methods and basis of selection, interview techniques and questions, to the terms that are offered with the job.
Getting the content of the job advert correct is essential, but employers should avoid making assumptions about the type of candidate that should apply. Therefore, in order to avoid claims of Age Discrimination, the job advert should not specify a preferred or expected age for candidates. So, phrases like, “seeking a mature person”, and “seeking a young and dynamic person” should be avoided. Similarly, stating that you are looking for applications specifically from men, or from women should be avoided, or there will be a significant risk of facing a Sex Discrimination claim.
In order to avoid the risk of breaching the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, job applications should not ask the candidate to disclose any “Spent Convictions”, unless the job being recruited to is exempt from that legislation.
Interview questions should be carefully considered, and focus on the skills and qualifications actually required in the job that is being recruited to. Questions about a candidate’s intentions on having children are unlikely to be relevant, and may lead to an allegation of sex discrimination.
Questions about a person’s disability may lead to a claim of Disability Discrimination, unless it can be shown to be directly relevant- for example in discussing what adjustments to the workplace or work practices may be required to enable that person to meet the requirements of the job in question.
The issues listed above highlight the need to structure the whole recruitment process fairly and properly, in order to focus on the specific requirements of the job in question, and the skills and qualifications required from the ideal candidate. Having and properly implementing a Recruitment Policy and Procedure (see PAYG Document), should help an employer to focus on the real needs and requirements of the role being recruited to, as well as reducing its risks of litigation form unsuccessful candidates .

 

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