How can I ensure I am being fair when recruiting?

As an employer it is your legal responsibility to ensure you are not discriminating during the recruitment process and that your decision to hire someone is based solely on their ability to do the job, how they will contribute to the organisation and their potential for development. You should ensure that you are treating applicants fairly at all stages of the recruitment process. It is important that you make the process clear to applicants and that adjustments can be made to accommodate disabilities.

For shortlisting candidates you could consider using Artificial Intelligence technology, which can avoid the unconscious bias that humans can experience. You should ensure that any technology you employ has been tested thoroughly and provides a good experience for candidates.

Interviewing candidates is an area which is particularly prone to bias, some of the issues to look out for are:

  • Asking candidates questions which are designed to confirm initial impressions gained before interview
  • Thinking stereotypes are true, such as assumed characteristics about sex, race, disability, marital status or criminal record.
  • Applying the ‘Horns and Halos’ effect, just because a candidate rates badly in one area this judgement should not be replicated across all areas of the assessment.
  • Comparing candidates to earlier applicants throughout the interview process
  • Preferring candidates who are ‘similar to me’ in areas such as background, career history or attitudes
  • Making decisions based on whether you ‘like’ the candidate

I would advise committing to a set of interview questions which are directly related to the performance of the role and that you use consistently for every applicant. However, you also need to ensure that the interview feels natural and balanced and that the applicant has the opportunity to ask questions.

Filled Under: Recruiting Posted on: 15th April 2021

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