Recruiting the right staff is a vital component of any business. Although, not an easy task, ensuring the correct processes are followed can save a lot of legal headaches. Not to mention that securing the right candidates for the job can be the difference between a business remaining stationary or flourishing and becoming increasingly more productive. The fact that many employers are unaware that job candidates can take businesses to employment tribunal if they feel that they have been treated unfairly during the recruitment process is extremely worrying. Understanding how to approach potential candidates through job advertisements, and what questions are legally appropriate to ask during the interview process can make the process run more smoothly and enable you to make the right decisions when selecting prospective employees. One bad habit that employers can often find themselves falling into is sticking with what they know or that is familiar to them. More specifically, employers may form pre-determined judgments on what they expect candidates to act like or even look like based on current or previous employees who have performed in the role they are recruiting for. When conducting an interview, employers should refrain as much as possible from considering what has been and focus on what is to come. Keeping an open mind will allow you to concentrate on the important aspects such as finding transferable skills that may not exist in your company at present, thus adding much needed value to your organisation. Another key focus is the job advertisement itself. Some employers can make the mistake, albeit unintentional to include terminology that is not only politically incorrect, but has severe legal ramifications. Including words that are restrictive and can discriminate against particular groups such as ‘junior’ and ‘senior’ or ‘manageress’ instead of ‘manager’ may prevent you from finding the talent you need and can lead to serious legal action. Finally, knowing what questions to ask during an interview and which ones to avoid due to their legal implications is something that often causes difficulties for employers. All interviews should focus on whether the candidate possesses the right skills for the position, therefore asking questions that help the applicant demonstrate they have these skills should be a priority. It is imperative that you stay away from questions that relate to age, ethnicity, religion, family plans, marital status, disability or sexual orientation. Entering the obstacle that is recruitment presents its challenges, but by taking into consideration the information above you will increase the likelihood of attracting the right candidates, whilst avoiding any unnecessary legal pitfalls that could have a negative impact on your business. For further clarification please contact the Peninsula Advice Service on 0844 892 2772.