How to Interview – Step 4 – Diversity and Recruitment

19 04 2010

So far we’ve looked at tools that will help you with key recruitment processes (How to Plan to Recruit, How to Shortlist and CV Sift and Preparing for the Interview).  Today I’d like to look at a technical aspect of recruitment, specifically Diversity and some of the legislation that is relevant to Recruitment.

All recruiters, whether they are HR, line managers and recruiters, must be up to date with the many legal aspects that relate to recruitment.   This blog post provides some basic information for you about some of the most pertinent legal requirements to be aware of when recruiting:

Sex Equality Legislation (Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and 1986)

It is against the law to unfairly discriminate, or treat people less favourably, because of their:

  • Gender i.e. male or female.
  • Marriage.
  • Gender reassignment

If a claimant has established the facts to show a possible case, it is up to the employer to prove that there has been no sex discrimination.

Other legislation applicable to this area are the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.

Gender Reassignment (Added to the Sex Discrimination Act in 1999)

This legislation prohibits discrimination on the grounds of gender reassignment where an individual:

  • Intends to undergo gender reassignment i.e. formally records with a relevant medical practitioner or qualified psychiatrist that he or she has an intention to achieve a new sexual identity.
  • Is undergoing gender reassignment.
  • Has undergone gender reassignment, i.e. has achieved a permanent new sexual identity.

Race Equality Legislation (Race Relations Act 1976 and Race Relations Amendment Act 2000)

The broad objective of the 1976 Race Relations Act was to eliminate discrimination against any racial group and means that an employer’s right to choose whoever they want for a job is restricted if the choice involves treating people unfairly because of their race, nationality or colour. It also provides guidelines and redress to those who feel they have been discriminated against via tribunals and civil courts.

Disability Discrimination (Disability Discrimination Act 1995)

The idea that reasonable adjustments’ should be made is key; there is no general requirement to change arrangements to accommodate anyone with any sort of ability in terms of employment.  Rather, if and when someone with a disability applies for a position, the employer should make “any reasonable adjustments” necessary to allow that person to participate fully in the selection process, and to carry out the job successfully.

Examples of the changes that could be made are:

  • Letting someone help the candidate to complete their application form
  • Providing a sign language interpreter for an interview
  • Providing letters and directions to the interview in large print
  • Allocating some duties to another member of staff
  • Providing voice dictation equipment

Enforcement of Equality & Diversity

Individuals have the right to take any E&D complaint to an employment tribunal.

There is NO limit to compensation an employer can be required to pay.

By using the Competency Based Interview or Structured Interview approach, you can evidence that you are making recruitment decisions objectively, basing your decisions on the skills that candidates have demonstrated during the assessment process.

Age Discrimination (Employment Equality Regulations 2006)

These regulations prohibit discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of age.

Under the Regulations both young and old are protected. Direct discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably than another person in a comparable situation on the grounds of their age. An example of this would be where a business only considered candidates over a specific age for promotion or who asked for specific number of years experience when this wasn’t relevant to the successful completion of a task/job.

More Information

There is a wealth of online resources available outside of this post, which will help you to maintain and update your knowledge.  Some of these can be found at:

By continually updating and enhancing your knowledge in this field will help protect both yourself and your organisation against some of the areas that may be challenged via Employment Tribunals.

If you’ve any questions, please get in touch on 01202 853647 or email us at  Next week we shall take a look at the different kinds of interview and which one you should use.




One response

19 04 2010

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