HR and the Interview Setting

Should HR Practitioners know what they are doing in an interview setting?  Whose role is it anyway?

As Human Resources Practitioners, we are often called upon to be the organizational role model for employee behaviour. It’s easy, then, to become the target for how to do things wrong, when the expectation is that the HR Practitioner should always be doing things right.  Right?

Why is HR expected to be perfect? It is because it is so important to organizational success!

A great example of this comes from the following article which reveals that twenty percent of HR practitioners were involved in asking illegal interview questions!   How is that even possible?   If HR cannot get it right, what are supervisors expected to do?

man with fingers crossed
dolgachov/Thinkstock

Click here to view the article.

The article states that, in some cases, HR practitioners are involved in asking questions that focus on religious preferences and practices, disabilities, and gender based issues. When this occurs, the article recommends correcting the situation immediately by addressing the question of concern and ensuring that the person being interviewed knows that the question asked was inappropriate and is not an acceptable practice. Is this solution a little bit of “too little, too late”?

The article has some great comments – many of them harshly critical of the role of HR in the interview process, including the perception that HR practitioners are ‘liars’ and, “Liars are not leaders”. If HR practitioners are regarded as liars then what does that say about the rest of the organization as represented by HR?  The article and the comments may make for uncomfortable reading and show how quickly HR can lose credibility if we do not know what we are doing!   If HR does not have credibility, then what is its value?

Discussion Questions:

  • What are three practices that HR must include in preparing for interviews?
  • How will I address members of an interview panel when they go ‘off script’ or outside of legal boundaries?
  • Have I been in an interview where the HR practitioner has made me feel uncomfortable?
  • How will I lead in the role of HR to avoid being called a liar?
  • How do I continually improve the credibility of HR?
  • What will I do to address issues of accommodation when they come up in an interview setting?

 

 

Working Moms and Family Status

If working moms are more productive, how can you ask the question about “family status” in an interview? Babies on the wall and all!

Click here to view the article.

This article seems to fly in the face of asking questions related to family status. If working moms are more productive, how can HR practitioners ensure that entire recruitment process is still fair and equitable to all applicants?

Businesswoman With Daughter
Photo Credit: Fuse/Thinkstock

As HR practitioners, we use the interview process to make sure that the ‘best’ candidate comes forward through each stage of the recruitment process. At the same time, we need to be wary of treading into preconceived ideas as to who is more effective as a worker especially when we start dealing with ‘typical’ labeling or stereotypes based on what is trending or current in dealing with workplace issues.

Supermoms may exist. So do Superdads. Does having children matter when we look to a commitment by the individual when they make a decision to join your particular workplace? Maybe we should be clear about what type of work environment the candidate is walking into so that they (the candidate) can decide whether or not the work that is required best suits their own lifestyle and work-life choices.

Discussion Questions:

  • Is it ever okay to ask the question regarding family status in an interview?
  • How do we evaluate potential employee productivity during the recruitment process?
  • What kinds of scheduling considerations should the HR practitioner put into place when dealing with employees who may have parental obligations?
  • What kinds of workplaces would be best suited to providing a ‘child’ friendly work environment?
  • Does having family friendly HR policies cause levels of discrimination?
  • What are the policy considerations that the HR Practitioner should be developing?