Wood Words

Would You Ever Favor a Male Candidate Over a Female?

Of course not.

As a responsible employer, you treat each candidate respectfully – and make employment decisions based on fair, legitimate hiring criteria.

Still, periodic reminders about fair employment practices with respect to gender are a good idea. After all, even well-intentioned hiring managers can be unintentionally negligent when screening and interviewing. And like it or not, we live in a sue-happy society. Even a small misstep can lead to a lawsuit.

What’s the best way to protect your Middle TN business? At Wood Personnel, we stand by the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Before your next hire, get together with your team to review these best practices for preventing gender discrimination. They are not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice, but they can help you hire smarter:

Review your recruiting practices. Not surprisingly, fair hiring begins with fair recruiting. Get together with your team to review and implement recruiting best practices from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These will help widen and diversify your candidate pool, ensuring that you do not disproportionately favor or exclude one gender.

Then take a look at your hiring practices. You may have a veteran team of HR professionals and hiring managers, but even experienced interviewers can be biased – and completely unaware of the fact. Here are a few tips from an earlier post:

  • Turn a critical eye on your hiring practices to make sure your team isn’t unintentionally favoring candidates similar to themselves.
  • Train all interviewers to avoid asking illegal interview questions, especially those related to gender-based issues.
  • Require interviewers to delay hiring judgments about applicants and to always support their opinions with evidence.

Spell out your organization’s hiring policies in a comprehensive employee manual. Protect your company from hiring discrimination claims by stating your policies in writing.

Be mindful that gender discrimination can go both ways. Use these tips when recruiting to head-off gender-bias complaints from male candidates:

  • Cast a wide net. Use a variety of recruiting tools, including job boards, job fairs, social networking sites, your company’s website and internal job postings. Diverse recruiting tactics appeal to a broad group of potential applicants of both sexes.
  • Welcome both male and female applicants. Make it clear when recruiting that, while you strongly encourage qualified female applicants, you also welcome qualified male applicants.

Uncover hidden disparities. Conduct periodic self-audits by analyzing pay rates for each position by gender. Make sure pay is equitable for employees with similar roles and experience levels, regardless of gender. If you do discover discrepancies, act promptly to correct them.

Want to make it safer and easier to hire great people? Work with a reputable Middle TN recruiter like Wood Personnel. When you partner with us, we assume many of the risks associated with hiring – including ensuring that non-discriminatory hiring practices are followed. Find out how our Murfreesboro employment agency can help.