A lot of businesses are starting to ramp back up their hiring. To help your business be prepared, you should evaluate your current hiring processes and ensure that they are legally and ethically compliant. When hiring, you will need to take an educated and thoughtful approach to ensure that you don’t violate any laws protecting candidates from discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and various other forms of federal and state-specific legislation protect workers in the U.S. from employment discrimination during the hiring process and while employed.
You may have good intentions when asking specific questions or choosing who to hire. You need to be aware of the boundaries. Candidates are protected from employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, disability, age (age 40 or older), or genetic information.
Seemingly harmless discussions can prompt a candidate to share personal information that relates to a protected class. This means that during the interview, there are many questions that you simply cannot ask, even as a part of a polite conversation. That is because the questions could be construed as discriminatory and have no bearing on whether the person’s ability to do the job. For example, asking a candidate about whether they have kids or are planning on starting a family would be prohibited and lead to concerns about pregnancy or sexual discrimination.
You also cannot ask questions that could lead to discriminatory areas, like asking about where a candidate is from or what year they graduated. The issue with these questions is that candidates can easily claim that discrimination is why you didn’t choose them for the position. To help yourself avoid asking questions that might delve into those prohibited areas, prepare your interview questions in advance and stick to your questions list. The prepared questions list should also include any icebreaker or introductory questions.
Avoiding discrimination during hiring also applies to any candidate assessments used during hiring. Whatever hiring assessment you use must be EEOC complaint, like AcuMax is. Many companies make the mistake of using personality assessments during hiring that are not approved for that purpose. Hiring assessments are a great way to equitability narrow your candidate pool to those most likely to succeed in a role and help narrow down the number of interviews you will need to conduct.