The future of work is now. Today’s jobs market and workforce is constantly changing and evolving.
Individuals no longer have a job for life attitude but instead have different expectations of work and the workplace. Employers need to respond to these societal shifts by recruiting talented individuals in compliance with employment equality legislation. In particular, employers should consider the following key points of this legislation when beginning their recruitment process:
- Advertising a job - Employment equality legislation applies to the recruitment process. A claim of discrimination on the grounds of gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community, is a real possibility at any stage of the recruitment process, including, the advertisement of a job vacancy. It is important to bear in mind that an advertisement may also be of relevance in construing the terms of an employment contract.
- Interviews - Employers should keep a full record of the interview process which should be clear and transparent. This information should be kept on file for at least 12 months after the recruitment process to assist employers in defending any claim of discrimination. Interviews should be conducted by a diverse panel of individuals and objective criteria for selection should be decided upon in advance of interviews. All candidates should be treated equally at interview and reasonable accommodations should be made to facilitate a candidate with a disability. An independent and factual assessment of a candidate against the selection criteria should take place immediately after the interview is over.
- References - Written consent to seek a reference from a candidate’s current and / or former employer(s) should be obtained from any candidate who is short-listed for a job or to whom a provisional offer of employment has been made. It is important to bear in mind that a current or former employer will be liable to the new employer for any loss or damage resulting from the new employer’s reliance on the reference.
- Medical Examinations - Employers may require prospective employees to pass a medical examination as a pre-condition of employment. Employers should ensure that information provided by such a medical examination is not used to discriminate against the prospective employee.
Recruiting talented individuals for a changing workplace is only the first step for employers. Progressive employers also need to re-think how they manage talent to ensure that they retain and motivate employees. For more insights on how to hold onto your key talent and the importance of keeping employees engaged, have a look at our previous article which explains how you can use employment law to retain and motivate employees.