Fair hiring is a rather new term that has recently emerged in recruitment. Every now and then you might hear about companies spending a large chunk of their hiring budget to ensure that the organisation incorporates a fair hiring process.
But what exactly is fair hiring and why has it gained so much importance in the past few years? Moreover, how can a company incorporate fair hiring practices and what are the benefits of doing so?
Well, in this article, we have collated answers to all these questions.
Only have a few minutes to spare? Jump straight to the ways to ensure fair hiring practices:
👉 Understand the Local Laws
👉 Work on the Job Descriptions
👉 Work on your Hiring Methods and Policies
👉 Work on the Selection Criteria
👉 Implement Skill Assessments
👉 Ensure Diversity in the Hiring Team
👉 Use Anonymous Recruiting Practices
👉 Train the Hiring Managers
Want to ensure fair hiring practices in your organization & evaluate your candidates for on-the-job skills? Create a free WeCP account and get started.
What is Fair Hiring?
Fair hiring is a recently emerged term that means hiring the best candidate for a job role in terms of skills, experience and ability to perform in the job, rather than considering their subjective and irrelevant personal characteristics, such as gender, age, community, religion, looks, language, etc.
The term encompasses all the local job discrimination laws and ensures that a candidate is hired only on the basis of his or her merit, instead of other individual and social aspects.
Fair hiring also implies that companies should overcome the subtle unconscious biases that the recruiters might have towards some candidates. This means that companies need to be more welcoming and should offer an environment of inclusion for a diversified workforce.
That’s because simply changing the recruitment process and practices will only lead to making the company compliant with the laws, but won’t help it reap the benefits of a diverse workforce in the true sense. This may make the company appear good but it will actually be hollow from the inside in terms of principles and ethics.
Most countries around the world have their own laws and legal policies to ensure fair hiring practices in local organizations. These laws make it illegal to discriminate against any applicant because of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, colour, and in some countries, even diseases and disabilities.
For example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the body that lays down such laws in the U.S. Similarly, the U.K. has the Equality Act 2010, governed by the Employment Laws of the country to make the companies practice fair hiring.
Why is Fair Hiring Important?
As is apparent, when companies do not follow fair hiring practices, they may have to face some serious legal repercussions. The legal body of the U.S., EEOC, can impose punitive damages ranging from $50,000 to $300,000 depending on the seriousness of the complaint and the number of employees working in the complainee organization.
👉 Also Read: Examples of Unfair Hiring Practices and How to Avoid Them?
However, apart from the legal consequences, there are several other reasons why an organization must implement fair hiring practices and incorporate diversity hiring and inclusion within the company. And, the primary of all is “because that’s the right thing to do”.
If a company truly wants to progress encompassing all elements - financial, innovation, market share, operations, customer satisfaction, social responsibility, and employee engagement and satisfaction - it is essential to have a diversified workforce.
Furthermore, diversity in workforce also boosts innovation and financial results. For example, if an organization is male dominant, it won’t be able to clearly understand the viewpoint of a female, which in turn might affect its market share among the female consumers.
An organization that has employees from all races, communities, gender, age, and religions, will be able to get more innovative ideas from all sectors of society. Youth brings in enthusiasm, age brings experience, all the genders bring in different viewpoints, and people belonging to different religions and locations bring in unique perspectives and cultural diversity that improves productivity, creativity, and decision-making.
According to a LinkedIn study, companies with employees from all sects of society earn 2.5 times higher cash flow per employee. With such benefits, one might wonder what prevents companies from adopting fair hiring practices. Well, it’s not that employers don’t want to incorporate fair hiring, it’s just that it’s difficult to implement.
Nevertheless, with these simple methods, you can easily implement fair hiring tactics in your organization.
8 Ways to Ensure Fair Hiring Practices
Understand the Local Laws
The foremost reason to ensure fair hiring in an organization is compliance with the local laws. Therefore, before you begin reviewing your recruitment process, it is important that you first understand which anti-discrimination laws apply to your business.
Understand your legal responsibilities as a business owner and then start reviewing and reworking on your current hiring techniques to ensure fair hiring.
Work on the Job Descriptions
Recruiters of most companies, unknowingly, create bias through their choice of words in the job descriptions.
These gender-coded or age-coded words give subtle hints to candidates that the company may be biased toward some of their applicants, thereby discouraging them from applying for the job.
Some of these examples are -
- Using “recent graduates” averts potential candidates who are in their late 30s or more.
- Using “maternity leaves” instead of “parenthood leaves” turns down the male population, particularly if they are planning to pursue fatherhood in the near future.
- Using phrases like “strong” or “competitive” usually suggests male dominance whereas phrases like “support” and “assist” appeal more to the female candidates.
- Using words like “salesman”, “waitress”, or “guys” sounds gender specific. You can instead use words like “salesperson”, “waitstaff”, or “folks” to come out as a gender-neutral organization.
Work on your Hiring Methods and Policies
To ensure that your company implements fair hiring, it is important that you review your current hiring methods and policies.
- Do you always hire from colleges that offer a good marketplace to get fresh graduates usually aged around early or mid 20s?
- Do you always prefer people who look great and are more presentable even for an office-based job role?
- Do you hire only males for field or factory jobs because you believe that females won’t do great at it?
- Does the career page on your website show images of a male-dominant workforce?
These are just a few questions to answer to understand if your current hiring methods are fair or not. And, if they need to be reworked then start today. Hire a mix of all working ages. For a software developer, looks and presentability don’t matter.
Females are doing great at field jobs too, such as journalism, sales, pilots, etc. On your career page, show images that have a workforce from all sects of society - black and white, males and females, youngsters and mid-aged, and people with any kind of looks.
Work on the Selection Criteria
Before you start with the screening of applicants, chalk out well-defined selection criteria. For any job role, the recruiters should be well aware of both hard and soft skills that the job role requires the candidate to possess.
Now, one thing that is highly subjective from the organization's point of view is the “culture fit”. In the name of culture fit, companies tend to fall into hiring people who look, respond, or speak in a certain way.
On the contrary, fitting into a company’s culture actually mean following a set of values that help in prioritization and decision-making in the company. Thus, the selection criteria should be developed by rephrasing these values into skills and experience, rather than any other irrelevant thing.
Implement Skill Assessments
Skill assessment tests is a great way to evaluate your candidates on hard skills such as technical and coding skills, and soft skills such as communication, decision-making, problem solving, etc.
These tests are done using software like WeCP, thereby eliminating unconscious bias from humans. Further, you also get all your applicants ranked in various categories according to their performance. This can easily help you shortlist candidates based on their skills, rather than other factors, ensuring fair hiring.
Ensure Diversity in the Hiring Team
As they say, “Change begins at home”. To ensure you have a diversified workforce across the organization and an inclusive environment for all sorts of people, irrespective of their colour, race, community, gender, etc., you first need to ensure that your hiring team is diverse and inclusive.
This is going to benefit you in two ways. Firstly, an interview panel welcomes different perspectives and reduces unconscious bias. And secondly, when you have views from diverse type of recruiters, you will naturally end up selecting a diverse workforce.
Use Anonymous Recruiting Practices
Anonymous recruiting methods involves removing personally identifiable information from the CVs of the applicants, such as names, gender, location, date of birth, etc., to remove any chances of unconscious bias.
This can be easily done using software that can erase any such subjective information or can help pre-screening the CVs for information related to skills and experience only.
Train the Hiring Managers
For an organization to adopt fair hiring practices, it is essential that the same is clearly communicated to the hiring team. All the recruiters must be trained on the local laws that they need to abide by while hiring. They should also be trained on different methods, such as using the skill assessment software, using the anonymous recruitment software, implementing the selection criteria, etc.
It is necessary for companies to adopt fair hiring practices in order to comply with the local labor laws. Additionally, such companies are also proven to give better results in terms of innovation, productivity, and financial growth.
To ensure that your organization follows fair hiring, you can use AI-driven hiring solutions by WeCP. Our skill assessment and AI Copilot can help you evaluate your candidates on both technical as well as soft skills, without introducing any traces of unconscious bias, ensuring that there are no subjective factors to select or reject applicants.
Want to know more? Contact us for more information or schedule a demo with us.