Recruitment is a complex and involving process, and it can take some time to get it right. Is it possible to discriminate in recruitment ads?  In addition, if you are running a small business, it can be a little daunting. You may know the kind of person you want for the role, but you may find it difficult to get that across in your advert and other recruitment materials.

In addition, you may be worried about discrimination. If you are looking for a specific personality type, that shouldn’t be a problem. But there are laws and regulations in place regarding recruitment, and specifically how you present a recruitment ad.

The Government says that you mustn’t state or imply in a job ad that you will discriminate against anyone. This includes people with disability. It may seem ludicrous now to think that anyone would ever state that they don’t want to hire a disabled person, but it can actually be a bit of a minefield. As an open and inclusive employer, you still have to be clear on your wording.

Your safest option is to only use phrases when they are an actual requirement of a job. If it is absolutely imperative that your new employee has to be a recent graduate of a certain discipline, and you can argue this point clearly, then by all means state this in the job advert.

Is experience necessary for the role?

At the other end of the spectrum, if you genuinely need a very experienced person for the role, due to the complexities and demands of the job for example, you are entitled to state phrases like ‘highly experienced’. If you don’t need experience for the position, this could discriminate against a younger applicant.

Finally, consider where you place the ad very carefully. If you are recruiting and place the ads in women’s magazines only, this could discriminate against men who want to apply for the role. This does happen, so think about the requirements of the role and where the ad should accordingly be placed.

Common sense can usually prevail. Just remember to think about the requirements of the position and the absolute necessities for the applicant. Once you have those identified, take it from there.

Bear in mind, however, that the modern workplace is an open and inclusive one, and think carefully about the wording of the ads you place when you are recruiting.

Chris Catt

The Enabled Entrepreneur

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