When it comes to recruiting, there are many laws and policies in place that all recruiters must follow. These laws can involve everything from discrimination to salary and if broken, they can cause candidates to file lawsuits and create a legal mess that can be hard for you and your company to clean up.
Before you start the process with a new candidate or new client, be sure you are aware of all the laws that are in place. Each state has their own set of laws too, specifically New York City, which, according to Nick Cervino, recruiter for the Goodkind Group, can get tricky. “There are certain ways that you have to ask questions, “he says. “And in New York, not being able to ask a person’s salary is a problem because people want to know.”
While discussing things like salary and work eligibility seem like important aspects of the recruitment process, simply asking these questions can be detrimental and lead to being sued. In order to avoid any legal troubles, try to understand the basic legal issues that surround the world of recruitment.
From the moment you begin talking with a potential candidate, you need to be careful about the questions you ask and the way you ask those questions. Try to write up your interview questions beforehand, especially if it is for a new type of position, to ensure that there is nothing discriminatory in them.
It is true that you want to get to know all you can about a potential candidate, but asking specific questions that relate to race, religion or disabilities can get you into major trouble. For example, if a job requires a lot of physical activity or manual labor, you cannot ask someone if they have a disability that could hinder their ability to perform certain tasks. Instead, include this information in the job posting and ask the candidate if they feel they meet all of the requirements.
The job posting is usually the first step in the recruitment process, so it’s important that you word the posting correctly to avoid any initial trouble. Never list any specific requirements that relate to age, sex or gender. Even if the job is of political nature, you can’t specify political beliefs that you want or prefer. Instead, keep things light and include items that directly relate to the job, such as years of experience rather than age limit or daily tasks rather than disability parameters.
You may want to consider including legal jargon from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to ensure that you are covering all of your bases.
It’s always important to check references when considering a candidate, especially if you are hiring for a high-level job. But, oftentimes, recruiters will be speaking with an HR employee or someone they consider a colleague and let down their guard, asking specific questions about ability or characteristics that may be considered discriminatory. Even if you know the reference personally, always stick to the same rule: never ask a reference anything you wouldn’t ask the candidate in an interview. Instead of asking them about personal aspects, ask about how well the candidate works with a team, how they were at completing tasks and if they had an issue with showing up on time.
This one is state-specific, so be sure to follow up with the laws in place for your specific state. Overall, a background check will tell you many things about an employer that you can’t necessarily ask them to their face, including criminal history and credit history. In some states, it is actually illegal to not hire someone due to their credit history, so be sure this isn’t your reason before making that final move.
Before sending out a final offer letter, be sure that it includes the correct salary and does not have any information in it that can be seen as misleading or discriminatory, especially regarding the pay that is offered.
If you are a talented recruiter, or a candidate looking to work with a knowledgeable recruitment team during your job search, contact The Goodkind Group. You can reach us at 212-378-0700 or visit our website to learn more about our services.