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Risk management: Hiring practices that can appear discriminatory

On Behalf of | Sep 5, 2023 | Employment Law for Employers |

There are hiring practices that may seem ordinary to some hiring officers. However, they might not sit well with some applicants. Consequently, the company may face discrimination accusations because of these practices.

It is an essential part of a company’s risk management for its hiring officers to be careful with their behavior and statements during interviews.

Interview questions related to race, age, gender identity and so on

Humans are curious beings. We tend to ask about things we do not know or are interested in. However, curiosity has its limits when it comes to employment interviews. While it may not be the hiring officer’s intention to discriminate, asking questions about an applicant’s age, gender identity, national origin and similar characteristics may come off as discriminatory since these should be irrelevant to one’s employability.

Exclusively selecting employees from the same school

Repetitively hiring employees from the same school, albeit unintentional, can be labeled as discriminatory or, at the very least, unfair. Yes, it is standard for companies to check the educational background of their applicants. However, they usually consider the educational level, grades and extracurricular credentials, not the applicant’s college or university. While this practice is technically not illegal, it is best to steer clear of it to avoid unfair hiring accusations.

Stating personal preferences during interviews

Many hiring officers are vocal and transparent. Unfortunately, some step beyond the line and express personal preferences during interviews that may discourage applicants who do not fit those preferences. Even if the hiring officer disclaims that it is their inclination and not the company’s, such behavior can still prompt a discriminatory claim.

Staying fair and impartial

To maintain their reputation and avoid legal repercussions, companies must ensure that the hiring process shows no signs of unfair and discriminatory practices. If there are any doubts about whether a practice can appear biased, it may be best to seek the advice of an employment professional.