Anti-discrimination legislation has been around for many years now. But people are often surprised at how easy it is to fall into the discrimination trap when interviewing.
So before you interview, just think of the types of question you are going to ask, the types of things you are going to say, and make sure that they cannot be interpreted in the wrong way. Because you cannot be seen to deliberately exclude a section of the workforce that is “protected” under anti discrimination legislation. That could mean Age, Sex, Sexual Preference, Pregnancy, Religion, Disability, Race as a starter – the full list is on the Gov.uk website.
And some of these can be quite subtle.
Most people would know that you cannot ask a female applicant about childcare, their plans for a family or even what their husband does. It is not something you would ask a male in the same situation, so it is automatically discriminatory.
But it is also very dangerous to ask an older candidate what their energy levels are like – do they get tired at the end of the day, can they cope with a stressful environment. It implies that you think that the older people get the less energetic they are. It may or may not be scientifically proven that that is the case, but by asking it you are automatically signalling that you don’t need somebody with those attributes, and therefore the older applicant is at a disadvantage.
And you my rant and rail against this “political correctness”, but for the economy itself it makes a lot of sense. Because everybody tells us there is a lack of talent out there, but most people recruit within very narrow boundaries.
But guess what? There is a wealth of talent out there, but you need to open your minds to precisely where these people can come from. They may not come from the traditional routes in the future, our society and the economy is changing so fast.
So by discriminating you are slowing up your recruitment process, narrowing your pool of talent and making your job much more difficult.
And you might open yourself to a discrimination claim. With unlimited damages.
Want to subscribe to this blog? click here.