Mitigating Risks in Hiring Process: How To Interview Someone And Protect Your Business

How to hire someone

As a business owner or manager, learning how to interview someone is critical. Good interviewing skills contribute to hiring the right people, of course. However, improper interviewing can also put your business at risk for discrimination claims. In this blog post, we’ll delve into potential non-compliant or illegal interviewing techniques for employers that you may unwittingly use. We’ll also guide correct interviewing techniques to ensure an effective hiring process.

Risks In the Hiring Process You Need to Know

As HR experts we know just how critical the hiring process is for your business. When done correctly it helps you find the team members who will help your business grow – and gets them started on the right foot. We have also seen how damaging improper interviewing can be for a business. Everything from lawsuits to bad PR to poor team dynamics is on the table. Read on for HR regulations and best practices regarding how to interview someone safely that your hiring team must know. 

Unlawful Practices and Discrimination Claims

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has prohibited employment policies/practices that businesses must follow. Using improper interviewing techniques can inadvertently lead to discrimination claims. Questions related to an applicant’s age, gender, marital status, or other protected characteristics can violate anti-discrimination laws. Such claims can result in legal ramifications and tarnish your company’s reputation.

Impact on Talent Pool and Team Effectiveness

Poorly trained interviewers may overlook qualified candidates or, conversely, hire unsuitable ones. There is so much more that goes into hiring the right person than finding someone who is charismatic in interviews. Hiring the wrong person hampers overall team effectiveness. The consequences can be long-lasting, impacting productivity, employee morale, and ultimately, your company’s success.

Illegal Interview Questions

Interviewers must learn what questions are illegal to ask in an interview. HR Compliance is tricky and ever-changing, but the following questions are a firm “No” that all hiring managers must remember. Asking about an applicant’s protected characteristics including age, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), disability or genetic information, race, color, national origin, or religion is prohibited in the United States. Examples of illegal questions include:

1. Age: Avoid questions that directly or indirectly inquire about an applicant’s age, such as “How old are you?” or “When did you graduate from high school?”

2. Marital Status and Family: Questions about an applicant’s marital status, family plans, or childcare arrangements are off-limits. For instance, refrain from asking, “Are you married?” or “Do you have children?” or “Do you plan on becoming pregnant?”

3. Gender & Sexual Orientation: Do not inquire about an applicant’s sexuality, gender, or any related issues. Questions like “Do you think being a man/woman affects your ability to do this job?” are inappropriate.

4. Health and Disabilities: Avoid asking about an applicant’s health, disabilities, or medical history. Questions like “Do you have any disabilities?” or “Have you ever been treated for a mental health condition?” are not permissible. Keep in mind that if a job applicant with a disability needs accommodation for the interview, such as the use of a screen reader program, the employer is required to provide the applicant with the accommodation for the interview process.

5. Race, Color, and National Origin: Do not discriminate against applicants due to their race, color, or national origin. Do not ask questions like “Are you a US citizen?” or “What country are your parents from?” it is however allowed to ask if an individual is legally eligible to work in the United States. 

6. Religion: Do not ask questions about an interviewee’s religious affiliations. Questions like “What denomination are you?” or “Who is your pastor?” are not appropriate. 

When To Bring In The Experts

HR NOLA understands the complexities of talent acquisition and offers a range of services to help you make informed hiring decisions. Our strategic recruiting processes, in-depth compensation consulting, and talent engagement services position your business for success. Outsourcing your HR role can be a huge benefit for growing businesses. 

HR and Executive Position Placement

In an increasingly complex business landscape, senior-level professionals are crucial to your organization’s growth. HR NOLA specializes in filling HR and executive positions with high-level candidates, ensuring a perfect match in skills and cultural fit.

Recruiting Solutions

Our Project-Based Recruiting Solutions offer a flexible approach to recruiting and hiring. Whether you need volume hiring or are filling a specific position, we provide efficient, customized solutions to meet your hiring needs and budget.

Science-Backed Recruiting

HR NOLA is a certified partner of The Predictive Index (PI). We hire the best fit by using PI’s objective data. We use objective, scientific people-driven data to gain insights into your talent and set them up for success.

Compensation Consulting

Intentional pay practices are vital for informed business decisions and employee motivation. HR NOLA’s Compensation Consultation services help you develop customized compensation solutions aligned with your business strategy, enhancing market competitiveness and driving success.

Proper interviewing techniques are the cornerstone of a successful hiring process. By understanding the risks associated with improper practices and avoiding illegal questions you can protect your company and build a talented, diverse, and effective workforce. When you need strategic HR support we’re here to help. HR NOLA stands ready to assist you in all your talent acquisition needs, ensuring that your hiring decisions positively impact the growth and productivity of your business.

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