ALAN Price, managing director of Peninsula Scotland – the employment law and health & safety consultancy – is urging business owners and their management teams to spend more time evaluating their current recruitment processes to ensure they are safeguarded from legal ramifications.
Alan said: “Recruitment is one of the biggest issues companies face today. It serves as the beginning of the employment journey, where the decisions you make not only effect the prospective employees’ time with you, but can also dictate how successful you will be in growing and developing your business.
“As employers, we can often get caught up in the familiar when selecting candidates for a job; perhaps unconsciously measuring prospective applicants against current employees, or are biased by our personal preferences.
“It is important that you keep an open mind. Look for transferable skills that can add value to your organisation, rather than making snap decisions based the type of employee that has done the role previously.”
Price continues “Recruitment must be a fair and transparent process. Setting specific limitations in your job advertisements, for example based on the terminology you use can have severe legal implications.
“Using words such as ‘junior’ or senior’ may lead to allegations of discrimination as it appears as though you are limiting your target audience to either older or younger people. Similarly, avoid using gender specific references such as ‘manageress’ or ‘waitress’, and instead of using ‘barman’ change it to ‘bar attendant’.”
Price concludes: “On a final note, confusion often occurs regarding what questions are legally appropriate to ask during interviews. It is important to stay clear from asking questions that pertain to an individual’s age, religion, ethnicity, marital status, sexual preference or disability.
“Recruitment may seem like a minefield, but if you follow these steps you can significantly reduce the likelihood of falling into legal implications.
“Remember, there are statutory acts designed to protect people from discrimination in the context of recruitment; therefore, you should be extremely careful not to exclude potential applicants through either job advertisements or during the interview stage.”
Notes to editor:
Alan Price is managing director of Peninsula Scotland.
Peninsula Scotland is an employment law consultancy based at Skypark, Glasgow. It is also a subsidiary of Peninsula Business Services.
For further clarification, please contact Sammuál – James McLoughlin or Dean Duggan on 0161 827 8511.
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