Why do recruitment and selection practices need to be objective and consistent? Ensuring that all potential employees are assessed based on the same criteria ensures that the process of recruiting and selecting employees is fair and professional.1 Criteria for selecting the appropriate candidate should be based on a position’s clearly defined written job description and easy-to-measure indicators to avoid biased assessments of potential candidates.2 Selection processes may include interviews, written assessments, or relevant tests to determine a candidate’s suitability for a position.1 Interviewing can be done in teams to assist with unbiased assessment and to help determine whether a candidate would be a good fit in your organization. Selection and screening methods should focus on the position’s required skills and abilities and must comply with human rights legislation.3
What does human rights legislation say about job recruitment and selection? The Alberta Human Rights Act protects individuals from discrimination as a result of:4
- Religious Beliefs
- Physical Disability
- Mental Disability
- Place of Origin
- Marital Status
- Source of Income
- Family Status
- Sexual Orientation
In spite of this, a study of HR management in small nonprofit organizations found that 3 out of 18 violated human rights legislation in their interview process. For instance, interview questions asking whether a candidate has a spouse or children were used as a way to gauge whether an interviewee would really be able to work overtime, while marital status and family status are both protected under the Alberta Human Rights Act.5
From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section D: Staff Management," Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.
- “HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2011.
- “Recruitment,” Getting the Right People, in the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector’s HR Toolkit.
- “HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2011, p. 10.
- “Selection & Hiring,” Getting the Right People, in the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector’s HR Toolkit.
- “Protected Areas and Grounds Under the Alberta Human Rights Act,” Alberta Human Rights Commission, February 2012.
Standards Reference Guide