Legal and Ethical Obligations in Recruitment Process

The success of an organization counts on its staff. And most employers fully appreciate this. However, recruiting qualified people with the necessary skills and attitudes and then retaining them can be a challenge. Often the role requires adequate knowledge and skills, which recruiters usually overlook, or simply undervalue.

Here are some legal top tips to ensure the company your applying to work with is compliant:

  • They must avoid participating in any legal or ethical issue, especially during the recruitment process.
  • Make sure the advertisement for the vacancy or new role doesn’t have any creed, colour and age discrimination.

Your new employer should be quick to organize a carefully-planned induction programme as soon as the qualified candidates accept the offer. This allows you to settle into the role and organization and become effective as soon as possible.

Step ahead for a good start

A good company, prepares to welcome recruits and settle them into their role. If they fail to do this, it creates a wrong impression and unwrap much of the work which attracted you to the job.

Here are two real-life stories of Anne Sharp and Neil Carberry that will demonstrate how a carefully-planned programme and well-structured process helps new candidates:

Anne Sharp, Chief Executive, Acas,

Almost 30 years ago, when Anne Sharp arrived at the Health and Safety Executive, his boss suggested him to spend his first morning in reading a report on the guarding of press brakes. However, Anne Sharp was unaware of a press brake then. Fortune favoured him, and a colleague asked to go with him for a factory visit. Anne Sharp still remembers that event to this day. A long and happy career with HSE followed.”

Acas is a private firm, running practical training courses to equip managers, supervisors and HR professionals with the necessary skills. It teaches how to deal with employment relations issues and create more productive workplace environments.

Neil Carberry was a Director for Employment and Skills at the Confederation of British Industry, the employers’ representative body

On his first day, Neil Carberry realized the importance of interaction with colleagues and the visibility of their work. In the business, where he started,  along within his colleagues, had his own little offices. Neil was happily beavering away – but so quietly that some colleagues were still wondering whether he had started!

Neil Carberry emphasizes the fact that good induction needs to cover what is expected from staff in their job and help them build an understanding of workplace culture.

Hopefully, such live experiences will help employers if they are looking forward to good practice on induction.

Probationary Period

Most of the employment contracts contain a probationary period of employment at the start. This period may be 3 to 6 months. Probation is necessary because during this period you can make sure the candidate is up to the job in practice. On the other hand, the new staff can decide to leave the organisation if they’re not satisfied with the role.

During the probationary period, the notice required by either side can be a week or more than this.

However, some role’s have no probation. In this case, new employees are considered permanent from the day they join the organization. So, they can’t be dismissed wrongfully.

So, the employers should ensure:

  • Whether or not the ‘job offer letter’ they are giving to applicants states the new candidates will have to complete any probationary period satisfactorily.
  • Also, they should also make sure whether the ‘Written Statement of Terms and Conditions of Employment’ include the length and conditions of any probationary period.

If there is a probationary period, the end of the period is the decision time.

Be sure:

  • whether the you will stay or leave
  • you are suitable for the job
  • If you agree to the extension of the probationary period

Avoid Discrimination

As an organization, you must rest assured that no unlawful discrimination occurs at any time during the recruitment process. Kindly, avoid:

  • Age discrimination
  • Disability discrimination
  • Gender reassignment discrimination
  • Marriage discrimination
  • Civil partnership discrimination
  • Maternity, pregnancy discrimination
  • Or discrimination in race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.


No legal recruitment prevents employers from approaching references. So, usually, you can provide two types of references:

  1. Professional reference – This reference includes the candidate’s current employer, or a previous employer or manager.
  2. A character or personal reference: This reference typically comes from an independent person, often in a respected position, who knows the candidate well.

Take Note

Recruitment techniques should not breach the legal rules that supervise the recruitment process in the United Kingdom. And this applies to all employers.

The penalty of not complying with legal legislation comes with legal action and damage to advisement or publicity for the service

There is a wide range of legislation, which covers the recruitment process.

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