Recruitment Compliance

Recruitment Compliance: All You Need to Know About Conducting a Fair Recruitment Process

Recruitment compliance can fall to the wayside in the chase to hire the best candidates for your recruiting agency clients. But before you standardise your recruitment process, consider this:

Are you following the local recruitment compliance laws?
Or do you even know what those laws are?

You may feel like skipping this compliance conundrum, thinking you’re saving time—but there can be consequences.

Earlier this year, a staffing company based out of Buffalo, US, paid a hefty fine to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) due to discrimination against a class of candidates. While organisations can survive such inconveniences, it’s hard to recover from a compliance blow when you’re a recruiter.

What Is Recruitment Compliance?

Recruitment compliance is the practice of ensuring that your hiring process is fair and in accordance with all relevant laws and regulations, while abiding to state, most practices, universal laws and internal practices.

Recruitment compliance is achieved by conducting a fair hiring process while keeping internal policies and local laws in check.

It helps you ensure that you’re not knowingly or unknowingly offending your candidates or violating their rights in any way.

In the US, mainly two federations govern recruitment compliance for organisations—the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). They’ve made laws to protect applicants and employees from discrimination against their race, gender, past salaries, language, age, religion, and many other attributes.

In the EU, you’ll have to be mindful of your local recruitment compliance laws and European Union’s recruitment compliance laws (typically under labour laws).


The Importance Of Recruitment Compliance

Besides financial and branding implications for you and your clients, compliance directly impacts a business’s performance in a given year. Failing to stay compliant and leaving more dissatisfied candidates results in a higher attrition rate—which means more employees tend to leave the company within 12 months of joining.

Even if your North Star is candidate quality and the time to hire, you must be mindful of retention.

Moreover, fewer candidates show up for the next round of recruitment following a bad first experience. You don’t want your top talent to leave in the middle of a promising interviewing round because you didn’t comply with recruitment compliance best practices.

At the end of the day, you may have to settle for candidates who aren’t such a good fit and produce low to mediocre-quality work, which costs you customers or impacts the revenue.

Key Recruitment Compliance Laws And Practices

Every country has its own laws, but there are quite a few similarities regarding recruitment compliance. Read up on your local laws, but as a rule of thumb, there are some practices you should universally steer clear of:

  • Never mention a preference in your job post. Remember, those job posts “seeking males above 25 or native English-speaking candidates” are highly frowned upon and constantly under scrutiny by the governing bodies and job seekers.
  • Avoid being biased toward a specific class of candidates during the hiring process—even if it’s a word-of-mouth recommendation from your trusted sources.
  • The law forbids you to demand any information that is irrelevant to the recruitment process, such as inquiries about disability, race, ethnicity, or even past salary information, for that matter.
  • You cannot discriminate regarding pay and benefits while favouring a particular class of candidates.
  • In the light of advocating to give a fair chance to each candidate, the United States federal laws prohibit you from requesting information about conviction records, which may not be the case in all European countries.

Challenges With Recruiting Compliance

With so many different clients who come to you with specific needs, your job as a recruiter is complicated. In some cases, you may outright disagree with the client, who may be biased.

It’s then your job to educate the client while ensuring you’re removing bias to stay compliant while recruiting suitable candidates. (This is where using a resume reformatting tool like Allsorter helps.)

On top of that, you’ll face other recruiting compliance challenges, including:

  • When dealing with high-volume recruiting, keeping all the laws in check and conducting unbiased interviews can be difficult.
  • Not all biases are intentional—sometimes, you or the clients could say something offensive while oblivious to its impact. For example, you or the client may form an opinion about a candidate based on where they are from.
  • Sloppiness is the enemy of productivity and a ‘bias-free’ recruitment process. You may be doing your job right, but someone not paying attention might lead you down the path of misfortune and misconduct.

How To Conduct A Recruitment Process Fair And Square

Change starts at home—and in this case, your recruitment agency. Update your internal policies and website to showcase how serious you’re about staying compliant (and keeping your clients the same way):

  • Educate your teams and conduct training and webinars to spread the word.
  • Make sure no candidates are looked down upon or favoured unfairly in any matter by creating standardised evaluation processes.
  • Make it apparent in every job post that you follow proper compliance laws and don’t discriminate while recruiting.
  • Identify common sources of recruitment bias that you regularly spot with your clients (or perhaps even within your agency) and create a mitigation plan.

Can Recruiting Tools Help You Stay Compliant While Recruiting?

If you’re recruiting candidates in masses, it can get tiring to manually screen every resume with the same zest.

Fortunately, you now have the option to automate some of the processes, so you never unconsciously miss a compliance window.

Allsorter can help you fast-track your recruitment process by screening and reformatting candidate profiles for you and highlighting their top skills unbiasedly. This way, you keep the candidates’ data private as you process them and share the top candidates with your recruitment agency clients.

How To Make Your Interview Process Compliant

  • Prepare an outline of things to discuss. If you already do it internally, share guidelines for the clients for those second or final interviewing rounds. Going into an interview randomly increases the chances of a slip of the tongue.
  • Have the candidate information ready beforehand. Read through it and analyse it to avoid any surprises during the interview.
  • Never go personal in an interview—only limit to skill-assessment questions and small talk.
  • Frame your questions correctly—do not sound condescending while requesting something from the interviewee.

How To Maintain Recruiting Compliance

Keep the recruiting compliance momentum going:

  • Stay up-to-date on the compliance laws. Know them by heart and keep an eye on trends and the latest updates.
  • Continuously educate your team. While recruitment compliance isn’t always the #1 priority, it can significantly affect your (and your client’s) business results, so treat it with the respect it requires.
  • Review your recruitment process—check how the job is being posted and oversee how interviews are conducted. Sit in on a few client interviews, as well.
  • Invest in tools that reduce your heavy lifting and redundancy to streamline your recruitment process. For example, remove even the most minor biases with Allsorter’s resume reformatting tool.

Key Recruiting Compliance Takeaways

Clients and candidates will flock to you – not your competitors- when you get a reputation for being a fair recruiter.

Recruitment compliance best practices include avoiding discrimination in job postings, not being biased during the hiring process, not asking for irrelevant information, and not discriminating in pay and benefits.

Since it’s in everyone’s best interest to create an outstanding job <-> candidate match, recruitment compliance is the finishing touch that makes candidates recommend you to other top performers and clients to their partners.

Following recruitment compliance laws and implementing transparent practices your recruitment agency lives by goes a long way to building a fantastic recruitment brand.

Did you enjoy this post? Here are some more recruitment topics you might be interested in:

  • How to reduce time to hire
  • Guide to high volume recruiting
  • How to address biases in recruitment
  • Top 5 high-volume hiring strategies
  • ATS resume template guide
  • Sales techniques for recruiters
  • Business development strategies for recruiters