Unintentional discrimination is an all-too-common problem in hiring. When you are beginning the hiring process, you want to make sure that you are hiring someone based on the fact that they have the top qualifications for the position – not on their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, whether they have children, etc. 

Having a plan of action for your human resources (HR) team and your hiring managers is one of the best ways for preventing discrimination in hiring. Start with these five tips.

Use a Legal, Consistent Job Application

There are certain questions on a job application that may seem neutral enough but could actually end up leading to discrimination. Seek out a job application that is already legally approved and has gone through HR for review. 

The job application should only relate to the qualifications applicants specifically need in order to qualify for the position.

Ask a Standard Set of Questions

When you first begin the interview process, create a standard set of questions that directly relates to the position you are interviewing for. Do not deviate from the list during the process. Getting into too much small talk can begin to cause implicit bias (a set belief that you may not even realize you have). 

You may ask follow-up questions directly relating to the interviewee’s answer to a question but it is important to keep it topical and avoid getting into anything personal.

Ensure All Interviewers are Properly Trained

Never invite someone into an interview last minute. Anyone who is interviewing a potential candidate should come well-prepared and well-trained. Your HR team should offer regular interview training to avoid discrimination in hiring practices.

If you need someone to interview a candidate, be sure to train the staff member – and refresh that training on an ongoing basis to cover new laws and standards. 

Cast a Wide Hiring Net

Often, discrimination in hiring is not purposeful. In fact, one of the top reasons that companies do not have a diverse workforce is that they do not create a large enough hiring pool to choose from. 

With recent changes due to coronavirus, many organizations are choosing to hire remote employees and widen the scope of their search for people outside their immediate geographic location. This broadens the types of people who are able to apply for a job and can greatly benefit both the organization and the employee.

Use Neutral Language

Much of the language that has been used over the years to refer to positions is gendered. Instead of using terms like “waitress” or “fireman,” consider using gender-neutral terms such as “server” or “firefighter.” 

Take care to use inclusive, non-offensive language in your job descriptions as well as your interview questions. Make it clear that the position is based on skill rather than factors beyond the applicant’s control.

Get Help Preventing Discrimination in Hiring

Do your employees or HR team need training opportunities to prevent hiring discrimination? The Applied Development team can provide training, seminars, and documentation to get your organization on the right path. Contact us online or give us a call today at 410.571.4016.