Five Steps to a Compliant Recruitment Process

Maintaining a compliant recruitment process is a challenge many organisations and HR professionals face daily.

Oftentimes, the challenges stem down to preventing discrimination, processing data legally, avoiding HR pitfalls, all whilst attempting to streamline the process and recruit the best talent!

In this article, we look at five steps your organisation can implement in order to maintain a compliant recruitment process.

1) Does Your Job Advert Discriminate?

Many recruiters and organisations often fall into the trap of using phrases that discriminate against certain characteristics. There are nine protected characteristics, which include:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Religion or beliefs
  • Age
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Disability
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marriage or civil partnership
  • Gender reassignment

For example, advertising for a ‘handy man’ is discriminatory towards potential female applicants. And searching for someone who is ‘young’ or ‘mature’ instantly discriminates against the applicant’s age.

The key here is to avoid including any phrases which will discriminate against the nine protected characteristics. You should include a process, implemented and overseen by HR and legal, that assesses job adverts and identifies any potential discriminatory phrases or language.

2) Avoid These Questions

Many HR professionals and recruiters will be aware that there are hundreds of questions you should not ask an applicant during an interview. This links back to the nine protected characteristics, but even some questions that seem innocent (non-discriminatory) cannot be asked. These include:

  • Is English your native language?
  • What are your plans for retirement?
  • Are you comfortable working for a male/female superior?
  • Do you own or rent your home?
  • When did you enter the workforce?
  • Can you work on Sundays? (Could be seen as asking about religion)
  • Any questions relating to a visible physical injury/deformity or recent surgery

This article from Business Insider discusses common (yet illegal) interview questions in more detail.

3) GDPR and Data Processing

You are allowed to use the information supplied on a CV and cover letter to learn more about a candidate (and contact them). However, this is all you are allowed to do.

If, for any reason, you have to run some form of check before offering a candidate an interview (or job), then you will need permission to process their personal data. In addition, you need to inform the candidate why you need to process their data.

Deciding not to a hire a candidate based on information revealed from processing their personal data (without permission), breaches GDPR law.

4) Background Checks

There are ten background checks you should consider within your screening process. These include:

  • Right to work
  • Criminal record check (DBS)
  • DVLA
  • Credit check
  • Medical check
  • Employment references
  • Educational references
  • UK sanctions search
  • International sanctions
  • Social media screening

Employers have a legal obligation to perform certain background checks on all candidates, particularly right to work. In other industries, certain checks are required by law (e.g., DBS enhanced and barring in healthcare and education sectors).

Other background checks are industry specific, such as credit check (finance industry). Others are discretionary, such as social media screening.

The key to ensuring you are compliant with background checks is to ask yourself (and relevant staff) the following questions for each role:

  • What background checks are necessary for the role?
  • What information do we need to run specific background checks?
  • Which documents are required?
  • What is our process for obtaining, filing, and dating checks and documents?
  • Does our process implement practices from any security frameworks? (e.g. ISO27001, Cyber Security Essentials)

5) Onboarding Process

Your company’s approach to the entire onboarding process needs to be both streamlined and compliant. A clunky or lengthy onboarding process may deter top candidates from applying. Additionally, a non-compliant process will cost organisations a lot of money (as well as time and reputational damage).

There are several areas you can look at to ensure a smooth and compliant onboarding process:

  • Review existing legislation (and all changes that occur)
  • Complete internal audits
  • Utilise technology and automation
  • Implement sign-off processes that are assessed by HR and legal

Final Words on a Compliant Recruitment Process

A compliant recruitment process can take time to build and develop. However, once built and maintained, such a process can prevent devastating financial, legal, and/or reputational damage.

Internal audits are integral, as it will allow you to assess any pain points within your recruitment process that need addressing. Furthermore, it is integral that your organisation does not rely entirely on manual processes (particularly when it comes to background checks and onboarding) and digital technology should be sought where possible.

Employment Check Pro

Employment Check Pro helps maintain a compliant recruitment process by removing the need to perform background checks and onboarding manually.

Pro caters for all sectors, accommodates all background checks, and can be tailored to your organisation’s requirements.

For more information, visit /pro

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