When an applicant comes across an interesting position online, one of the first steps is to write a CV and cover letter for the advertised position. Until 2006, the application photo was still considered an integral part of the documents. Since then, however, the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) in Germany states that the photo no longer has to be added. One of the aims of the law is to prevent applicants from being excluded from the recruitment process because of their appearance.
Issues such as bias or even discrimination are still present in many life situations – including when recruiting and hiring new employees. However, there are certain practices that companies can adopt to make the hiring process as ethical and fair as possible. The practices are implemented by the HR department and also communicated to the digital recruiters or the recruitment consultancy. We present seven methods in more detail in the following sections.
As a rule, application documents received digitally by the HR department or headhunter are checked manually. This can lead to prejudices, which in turn means that some candidates are excluded from the application process. In the scoring procedure, the documents are checked by a program. The applicant’s information is automatically compared with the job advertisement and then given a score. The process therefore reflects on a neutral basis which candidate meets the requirements of the position. What’s more, you save time when checking the documents.
Recruiting is not just about the “hard facts”, but also about what lies behind a person. If a job interview is to be fair, it is best to combine several methods. For example, certain personality tests can be added to the scoring process to take soft skills into account. In the HR sector, there are a number of tests for this purpose, such as the DISG or the BIP. The best tests to use depend on the company and its requirements and must be determined individually.
Standardized interviews are another method to ensure equal opportunities in the application process. The digital recruiter asks the candidates exactly the same questions during the interview. This not only means that the level of difficulty is the same for everyone, but also that it is easier to compare the answers after the interviews. Time-delayed video interviews are also often used to create a certain neutrality and to create a direct comparison between the applicants with the help of the recordings.
Since the AGG was introduced, it has brought about a number of changes in the HR sector. Since then, some companies have resorted to the advice of specialists who ensure compliance with legal requirements. Among other things, the anti-discrimination officers take part in job interviews and point out possible violations. They answer all questions about the AGG and, if necessary, also examine diversity among the existing workforce.
In order to be able to apply the practices, HR employees must be trained accordingly. In addition, the practices are not only about new technologies that you have to familiarize yourself with, but also about the right way to deal with the candidates. Seemingly small details, such as the form of address or choice of words, can lead to an application or recruitment process not being fair. It is therefore important to offer regular seminars on topics such as diversity and equal treatment.
Another way to ensure fair recruitment is to use new recruitment channels. Many companies publish their job advertisements on the same pages again and again. Even if a recruitment consultancy for sales or a headhunter is used digitally, they do not usually simply change their strategy. However, the same clientele is probably always addressed on the usual channels. Therefore, another method is to look around on new sites. These can also be pages for international job advertisements, for example.
If you want to ensure a fair recruitment process, you have to look to the past. Analyzing employees and their CVs who were most recently hired provides information on whether there is a pattern in the selection process. If you recognize one, you can react and revise the process using one of the methods mentioned.
Books for managers and those who want to become one
You really do exist! Books that improve your leadership and delegation skills. In the course of my time as a founder and manager, I have read many books. Leadership books that helped me with my first steps and other books that helped me at an advanced stage. Here are my top 3 leadership books from which I still learn a lot today.
Good bosses eat last
The book that every leader needs to know. One of the world’s best books on leadership.