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Combating racial discrimination in Recruitment

Published: Wednesday 22nd July 2020

Although things have progressed with combating racial discrimination in recruitment, it remains an endemic feature of everyday working life in the UK, appearing in less overt forms. In fact, according to a recent report, most ethnic minority workers have experienced racial harassment at work. The majority have also been subjected to unfair treatment by their employer because of their race. In accordance to the responses, more than 70% of ethnic minority employees have experienced racial harassment at work while 60% have been subjected to unfair treatment. Moreover, almost 50% have reported they have been subject to verbal abuse and racist jokes.

So, how can employers avoid discriminating against candidates during the recruitment process and tackle a bias that has been rooted in the system for so long? This article will help businesses to avoid employee discrimination in the workplace, ensuring companies comply with the Equality Act.

Racial discrimination and the Equality Act

multiethnic applicants argue with confident female before recruitment talk.

When recruiting, it is integral that hiring managers do not discriminate against candidates based on their possession of a protected characteristic. According to the Equality Act, the nine protected characteristic that are prohibited from being discriminated against are:

Use Bias Interrupters to fight racial discrimination

hr manager holding magnifier choosing hunting human resources data finding new right recruit among multiethnic professional people faces collage. Recruitment assessment, staff search concept.

Bias Interrupters are small adjustments to a company’s operating system, such as the hiring process, that reduces discrimination. Some examples of bias interrupters could include rewriting job adverts and job descriptions to remove discriminatory or discouraging language or reducing referral hiring. Other examples could be recruiting candidates using diversity-specific job boards, incorporating skills test in the hiring process as well as asking all applicants the same, pre-set list of interview questions. Regarding the creation of the pre-set list of interview questions, HR teams should ensure they are free of any nuances that only certain groups would understand.

Use blind CV’s

Blind CV’s are one of the ways that employers have used throughout the past years to combat racial discrimination in the hiring process. However, removing the candidate’s name can only help to an extent before money or background becomes a limiting factor.

Provide training for Hiring Managers

Businesses need to do more to challenge racial discrimination and unconscious biases within the workplace. Employers should remember that discriminatory practice in recruitment is often unintentional. Therefore, offering unconscious bias training workshops to recruiters can help to reduce bias and develop the managers’ ability for objective hiring practices.

Successful businesspeople sitting at conference or seminar during lecture

Establish protocols to tackle internal racial discrimination

Establish protocols and go-to processes for managers, team leaders and employees. Developing an anonymous form that employees can fill out to report any related incidents will help tackle internal racial discrimination behaviours and cultivate a diverse and inclusive corporate culture.

Your applicants are interviewing you, too!

Under the Equality Act 2010, employers must treat everyone with fairness, respect, and dignity while keeping in mind that applicants are interviewing them too. Many job hunters apply to more than one job, and often get more than one offer. Therefore, you want your business to have a strong reputation and stand out as a worthy place to work in order to attract the best talent in the market.

If you’re looking to take the next step in your recruitment process, Zoek’s job board supports diversity and inclusion, while offering affordable hiring packages tailored to your business needs.

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