Avoiding Discrimination in Your Recruitment Process

Bias and discrimination within a recruitment process is still a significant issue in the UK, so much so that British citizens, from ethnic minority backgrounds, with ample experience and qualifications are being rejected by employers.

Studies show that these individuals still have to distribute, on average, 60% more CVs to receive a favourable outcome than their white counterparts.

The following blog will explore how employers can avoid discrimination in recruitment and will advise on which characteristics of a candidate it is vital not to discriminate against.

How to Avoid Biases in Recruitment

There are several ways to avoid bias within a recruitment process. Implementing these methods aim to remain inclusive and impartial for all applicants. 

Firstly, standardising the interview and the recruitment process can remove a large portion of discrimination in itself. Ask broad questions to each applicant, both at the initial application and during the interview stages. Doing so can make the final decision based on your received answers and keeps the process a level playing field for everybody. 

You must also remain impartial to an individual’s personal qualities, for example, likeability. It’s possible you may not instantly gel with somebody, but that does not mean they wouldn’t be the right fit for your business.

Lastly, keep any job descriptions or examples of job tasks gender-neutral. Any applications will be from individuals who believe they can carry out these duties; focus the language on neutral, descriptive job titles.

Protected Characteristics

Protected characteristics give an individual the right not to be treated less favourably or subjected to an unfair disadvantage because of that characteristic.

It is essential to disregard protected characteristics when hiring to create a fair hiring process.

The following are examples of protected characteristics that cannot be used as a reason for an unsuccessful job application:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion and belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

By choosing any one of these protected characteristics as a reason an individual has failed to become an employee within the company, rather than other reasons such as lack of experience or tardiness, you become guilty of unconscious bias.

Occupational Requirements

The only eventuality when producing a gender-orientated job advertisement cannot be avoided is for jobs requiring employees to work with others of the same gender.

An example of this would be a company or charity looking for an individual to work with women who have become victims of trafficking. The job advertisement is requesting female applicants to fulfil the role.

 In this instance, the job role deems male applicants unsuitable for the job role; this is not the employer's decision directly but the position.

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 was introduced to protect everybody in Britain from becoming a victim of discrimination. 

There are many different types of discrimination.

Direct Discrimination

Direct discrimination is the practice of discriminating against somebody,  especially regarding race, age, sex, or disability.

Indirect Discrimination

Indirect discrimination is when a policy, rule or practice affects a minority or specific group of people more than others. The Equality Act says it puts you at a particular disadvantage.

Harassment

Harassment is defined as repeated unwanted contact without a reasonable purpose, insults, threats, touching, or offensive language. Workplace harassment is a severe offence and can cause individuals emotional and psychological suffering.

Victimisation

Victimisation is the act of alienating someone from a larger group for cruel or unjust treatment.

Pre-employment Checks From Eurocom C I

If you are looking for a non-discriminatory pre-employment process, setup and implementation for your business, look no further than Eurocom CI. We are experienced in providing a multitude of checks for various companies.