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Recruiters Must Abide By EEOC Interviewing Guidelines

by Beverly Aarons 12. December 2008 07:21

Recruiters Must Abide By EEOC Interviewing Guidelines

When it comes to hiring, legal recruiters are subject to the same Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) interviewing guidelines as law firms.  These guidelines are designed to make sure that hiring is done objectively without regard to race, national origin, religion, marital status, parental status, age, disability, sex or political affiliation.

There are a few easy steps recruiters can take when interviewing to make sure that their hiring process remains objective and in line with EEOC guidelines.

1.    Interview a large pool of candidates that are as diverse as possible.

2.    Try to have more than one person interview the job candidate.

3.    During the interview, do not ask about marital status, parental status or possible pregnancy.

4.    Do not ask about the job candidate's country of birth.  For example, do not ask "Were you born in the United States?" or "What country were you born in?"

5.    Do not ask a job candidate's age unless the job requires that the employee be of a certain age.  You can however confirm that the job candidate is over 18 years of age or if he/she is a minor that they have a work permit.

6.    Do not ask about previous arrests. However you can ask about convictions if they are job related.  For example, if an attorney was convicted of fraud that would obviously reflect on his/her ability to carry out his/her job duties honestly.

7.    Do not ask the job candidate about his/her religious background.  A matter of fact, do not bring up religion at all during the interview.  If the candidate reveals that they have special needs due to their religious affiliation, you can ask them what accommodations they need.

8.    Do not ask a candidate if they have a physical or mental disability.  But if the job candidate voluntarily reveals that they have a disability you can ask what type of reasonable accommodation they may need.  

9.    Do not ask a job candidate about the religious or racial affiliation of their law school or what racial or religious organizations that belong to.  However, it is permissible to ask at the job candidates what professional organizations they belong to.

10.    Although it is not permissible to ask a job candidate about previous drug usage, an employer has the right to ask about current drug usage.

When interviewing, recruiters need to keep in mind that questioning should only be related to the job the candidate is applying for and should not scrutinize personal, non-job related issues such as race, national origin, religion, marital status, parental status, age, disability, sex or political affiliation.


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