Eight in 10 interviewers have asked inappropriate
questions while recruiting By Emily Burt
managers should be trained on proper interview practice, say experts.
are warning employers must better educate themselves on recruitment practices,
after a report revealed today that eight in 10 interviewers have asked inappropriate
– and potentially illegal – questions.
survey of 2,000 UK employees and hiring managers from Hyper Recruitment
Solutions found 85 per cent of interviewers admitted asking ‘off-limits’
questions during the recruitment process. Almost one in five (19 per cent)
jobseekers said they had felt mistreated during an interview.
than half (56 per cent) of hiring managers confessed they had asked a candidate
whether they had children, while 51 per cent said they had asked whether
somebody was married. Almost half (46 per cent) had quizzed candidates about
the origins of their accents and a similar proportion (45 per cent) queried
whether a jobseeker had grown up outside the UK.
Holcroft, associate director at Croner, said the report highlighted risks
employers should be aware of when considering interview questions, warning a
misdirected question could leave an employer facing a costly discrimination
the recruitment process, candidates are entitled to the same protections that
employees are by the Equality Act 2010… If asked off-limit questions such as
these, the applicant could potentially argue they were refused the role due to
certain characteristics such as age, gender, relationship status or family
plans, even if this wasn’t actually the reason,” he added.
of the 10 most common ‘off-limits’ questions identified by the survey revolved
around parenting, with more than three-quarters (77 per cent) of survey
respondents revealing they do not think it is potentially illegal to ask if a
candidate is planning to take maternity or paternity leave.
previous research into maternity discrimination found British employers are
living in the dark ages and have worrying attitudes towards unlawful behaviour
when it comes to recruiting women,” Sue Coe, head of employment at the EHRC,
told People Management.
research shows that employers need more support to make workplaces the best
they can be for working parents.
is paramount for organisations seeking to avoid a potential discrimination
claim, Holcroft warned. Almost half (47 per cent) of hiring managers surveyed
by Hyper Recruitment Solutions revealed they had never received formal training
on the questions to ask during an interview.
should be taken to ensure that training is provided to all interviewers,
encouraging them to keep any questions asked specifically related to the job
opportunity and, by doing so, consider the applicant on their merits alone,” he
final decisions should be made solely by identifying if the applicant’s
experience and skills match the requirements of the role.
of Hyper Recruitment Solutions, and former The Apprentice winner, Ricky Martin
added official training should be mandatory across all business sectors to make
sure recruitment processes were as fair as possible. “It’s really important a
light is shone on what is and isn’t acceptable in the recruitment process to
give prospective employees the best possible chance of success at the interview
stage,” he said.
research isn’t about suggesting the recruitment process is made easy for
interviewees, but ensuring all prospective employees are given a fair and
honest opportunity to secure a job based on their skills and ability – not
their gender, personal decisions, or maternity/paternity choices.”