Some application processes may disadvantage certain people. This reduces an employer’s opportunity to find the best person for the job. It could also be discriminatory.
Employers are required to avoid discrimination on the basis of certain attributes, protected by law, when recruiting staff.
They can remove barriers for applicants by simplifying their application procedures and making sure that they are accessible.
Some useful strategies include:
- Not seeking unnecessary information
- Not seeking information that could be perceived as the basis of discrimination against the applicant
- Allowing an alternative application process for people who require it; for example, allowing applications to be made both online and in writing.
Example: Asking applicants to submit a comprehensive written statement on why they want the job might not be necessary for a cleaning position. It could also discourage people with limited English language skills from applying for the job.
Example: Using only an online portal for applications could deter applicants with certain forms of disabilities from applying, as they may have difficulty accessing the system or navigating through the application process.
Example: Asking applicants if they have children as part of the application process for a job in fashion retail. If an applicant says they have children, and the employer relies on this information in deciding not to offer them the job, the applicant could make a complaint of discrimination based on their family responsibilities. An employer should clearly set out the essential selection criteria for the position, and ask the applicant if they can meet these requirements, rather than making assumptions about the applicant’s child care arrangements.