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Taking care to avoid discrimination in the hiring process

Man holding red poster with 'Zero Tolerance' on it

Finding quality candidates for a position in your company can be a daunting task, but these days, getting started with it has been simplified with the ability to simply post an ad online. There are many websites designed specifically for job advertisements. You will likely end up with a pile of candidates to narrow down before you are even considering who to interview.

However, just because it’s as easy as a click, you should still err on the side of caution with the meat and bones of your job ad. While this method of advertising offers many advantages, it is important for employers to inform themselves about its potential pitfalls.

You may have an idea of what the perfect candidate looks like, but in reality, they may not actually exist. You also need to remember that the perfect candidate is not actually going to look a certain way, and you must be careful not to mention specific qualities in your posting.

The Canadian Human Rights Act states that you cannot discriminate against potential employees based on certain protected categories – such as race, age, gender or sexual orientation. Therefore, creating a job ad that can be seen as excluding any of these protected groups in any way could be a violation of human rights law.

You should maintain caution even after you select initial candidates. The interview process is just as important, and you need to be sure you are assessing all candidates on equal footing for their skill and experience. Your behaviour throughout the recruitment process needs to remain neutral and professional, and you need to ensure each individual is not being assessed in any way based on any of the protected categories already mentioned.

It is easy to think of employment-related discrimination law as pertaining exclusively to the words and actions towards someone who has already been hired. But it is important to remember that excluding certain groups from an employment opportunity is also an offence, under the law.

Here at Inch Hammond, we have the expertise and knowledge to help you create an inclusive hiring process that will minimize your risk against litigation. Contact us today to obtain more information.

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