Avoiding recruitment pitfalls

By LBV

06 Apr 2011

Recruiting the right person is critical to the success of your business, yet it’s full of potential legal pitfalls for unwitting recruiters.

In today’s compensation culture, having a comprehensive understanding of Employment Legislation and the precedents set through Employment Law, is essential.
Here are some of the basic principles that will help you to recruit the right person and stay out of Employment Tribunal:

1. Describe the job accurately. Clearly state what the duties and responsibilities are in layman’s terms.
2. Know what you are looking for. Articulate the criteria needed in a person specification.
This is the most difficult yet most important step in the whole process. Put in enough criteria to avoid being overwhelmed by unsuitable applications but make sure it’s accurate. You must challenge your own assumptions by asking yourself questions like “Do they really need a driving licence?”, “Do they really need to work full time?” or “Do they really need 5 years experience?”
3. Write your advertisement carefully. Use key elements of the job description and person specification and beware of statements that could be interpreted as discriminatory.
4. Short list using a systematic method. Put your criteria in a matrix and score each application against it.
5. Make sure your questions relate to your job description and person specification. Prepare key questions about past performance beforehand.
6. Give candidates plenty of time to think. Resist jumping in with the next question to ease an uncomfortable silence.
7. Probe their level of experience. Ask question after question on the same line of discussion until they have “dried up” before moving on to your next pre prepared question.
8. Keep your paperwork. Candidates have three months to lodge a claim so keeping records of the whole process is essential.
By following a fair and systematic process you will eliminate any unintentional bias and be able to defend yourself should a claim arise.

Anna Bowen
Anna Bowen HR

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