Fair recruitment encompasses more than just adhering to labour laws and job descriptions; it entails the principle that hiring decisions should be grounded in merit rather than influenced by factors such as an applicant’s gender, religion, ethnicity, or any other quality unrelated to their skills and expertise.

A fair recruitment process also ensures a positive recruitment experience for applicants and holds immense significance for businesses, particularly during periods of labour market scarcity. It guarantees that the workforce possesses the necessary skills and capabilities that align with an organisation’s present and future requirements. Fair recruitment is not merely about quickly filling the position but rather about influencing the long-term prosperity of a business.

Discover our recommendations for a fair recruitment process:

  1. Set out clear policies, procedures and codes of conduct to demonstrate the business’s commitment to ethical recruitment and clarify expectations for employees and business partners, including labour recruiters, employment agencies and Tier 1 suppliers.
  2. Respect the human and labour rights of all workers throughout the labour process, including prohibiting forced labour and child labour, prohibiting discrimination, and protecting all workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
  3. Hire locally where possible, to support your local community. When this is not possible due to the number of workers required or the complexity surrounding the recruitment process, employers should be selective in the labour recruiters they engage.
  4. Continue due diligence as part of the selection process, seeking information from labour recruiters about how they manage their business and ensure human and labour rights are upheld.
  5. Avoid unconscious bias in recruitment practices by providing all hiring staff with unconscious bias training.
  6. Carefully consider advertisements for positions, being sure to take a diverse approach in advertising for candidates – for example advertising on specialist websites that meet the diversity needs for your region.
  7. Write gender neutral job descriptions, using gender neutral terms and avoiding words that may unconsciously discouraged certain candidates – for example replacing terms such as ‘strong’ or ‘dominant’ with ‘assertive’ and ‘confident’.
  8. Avoid gender specific pronouns instead of using ‘he’ or ‘she’ – for example use ‘they’ or rephrase the sentence to avoid pronouns altogether.
  9. Create inclusive job ads, ensuring your job advertisements do not contain images or descriptions that might alienate potential applicants.
  10. Eliminate bias in the interview by ensuring the interview panel is diverse and that interview questions are fair and do not discriminate against candidates. Use structured interview formats and ask all candidates the same set of questions to minimise bias.
  11. Provide equal opportunities for all by creating an inclusive environment where candidates from all backgrounds feel welcome. Ensure accessibility is a priority throughout the hiring process, and offer reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities.
  12. Have effective grievance mechanisms in place for your business to receive and respond to complaints from workers – for example, hotlines and/or an online complaints system where employee confidentiality is respected – and ensure all employees are made aware of these mechanisms.

This blog was written with insight from the International Organization for Migration, to find out more about our partnership, visit https://sustainablehospitalityalliance.org/our-work/iom-ethical-recruitment/.