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Are you excluding talent with your current recruitment process?

When it comes to recruiting for new positions - short-term cover, full time or even looking for an Apprentice, the message you send out will need to be clear on the type of person that is right for the role. Be this drive, passion for the industry or previous experience within your sector, as well as more pliable indicators like ‘would fit in with the team’. Ultimately you just want to make sure that you have a fair testing process in place. Here is some guidance to achieve this:

Break it down to the needs of the role

Work with the team you are currently recruiting for or your HR department to ensure you carry out an objective analysis of this role to determine the skills, knowledge and behaviour needed.

There will be areas you will need to set time aside to review, and these will include identifying job-related criteria that are solely related to the requirements of the role. This is followed by reviewing this list and exclude any criteria that are not essential to the job role.

To ensure your business has full access to the entire pipeline of talent you will need to make sure the advert created is clear and concise, avoid using phrases that could be misinterpreted. It would be best to fully review external advert content as a team to highlight these potential areas.

This area of the process will also need to be reviewed fully to make sure you’re not only advertising where you think your target group might be, but in a more generalised way to target the largest and most diverse spread of people.

Make sure your test assessments are objective

Use valid and justifiable assessments that measure your selection criteria. Your assessments should:

  • Be representative of the tasks involved in the role
  • Measure relevant traits
  • Predict what they’re meant to
  • Be obvious to candidates what the tests are assessing

Using any overly masculine of feminine terms can disengage the interviewee, and could even lead to them no longer wanting to apply. This also applies to Interview questions so making sure you get this step right can mean failing or success.

Make sure that all interviews are done fairly and in the same conditions, be this the time of day, location and even the number of people you have taking part of the interview process.

Train managers

Train hiring managers in equal opportunities, diversity, employment law, interview skills and avoiding unconscious bias. Training your Managers on equal opportunities will help make sure you have coverage on the topic across your business. As the people that will generally be selecting new staff for their team will have the knowledge to make the selection process fair.

Ensure all manager apart of the recruitment process understand your selection criteria, and that they don’t ask questions about aspects such as a physical handicap, pregnancy, sexual identity, religious beliefs, world views, age or ethnicity unless the question is directly related to the job on offer.

Be consistent

Conduct consistent job interviews and assessment centres. Probe only for the desired attitudes and behaviours.

Check that interviewers and assessors are not simply recruiting people from similar backgrounds, or with similar experiences, to themselves. Try to have two individuals conducting interviews, where possible.

Give unbiased feedback

When rejecting candidates, give reasons that are based purely on the job requirements. This will give a clear indication to each person why they didn’t make the cut and how they arrived at the decision. General feedback like “Others were more qualified” is not helpful. Instead, provide specific examples of this E.g. they complete a higher level of training or Apprenticeship that gave them the upper hand.

Check performance

Conduct validation research to confirm that the people who perform well in your assessments go on to perform well in the role. Keep documented evidence at each stage, to help you if a legal challenge arises.

By using only criteria that impact on job performance, fair testing will help you to identify the best candidates for your roles, and it will bring equality and inclusion into your recruitment process.