What should employers do to avoid discriminatory hiring practices?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2021 | Race Discrimination |

Discrimination can take place in all aspects of employment. They can also be present in an employer’s hiring practices. While it is common to ask for certain information about workers to determine their worthiness for a certain position, some questions about race go beyond what’s legally allowed.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers must take certain steps to avoid discrimination when hiring or recruiting new workers. Here are a few of those steps, which benefit prospective employees as well.

Word-of-mouth referrals and recommendations

Employers may ask their current staff to put out feelers for new hires when a position becomes open. In workplaces with a diverse selection of employees, this method is perfectly valid. However, not all workplaces can boast such diversity.

When a place of work is homogenous, word-of-mouth referrals are more likely to return a pool of contenders that are the same race and ethnic makeup as the current staff. As a result, this method becomes discriminatory because it is less likely to return a varied pool of qualified candidates.

Employment ad creation

Employment ads do reach a larger – and hopefully more diverse – pool of contenders. Ads must contain certain information to be as inclusive as possible. For example, employers should state their business is equality opportunity regarding hiring practices.

Employers must also steer clear of racially charged language in ads. Anything that could point to a racial preference, no matter how vague, is discriminatory.

Use of an employment agency

Employers can provide a list of traits, experience, and skills they want their prospective candidates to have. This list cannot include racial or ethnic preferences. If it does, employment agencies must not include this information in the final ad. If they do, they are accountable for discriminatory practices.

Inclusive hiring practices make for a more inclusive workplace. If an employer is genuinely concerned with diversity, they will take the proper steps to ensure their workplace is equal and fair for all.


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