How Am I Legally Protected During the Recruitment Process?
The recruitment process can be exhausting by all accounts and rejection can deter many from reapplying for their dream roles. One thing that is undeniable throughout this, that is felt by many, is the power imbalance throughout the process.
Although most hiring managers work ethically and within the realms of the law, it’s important to know your rights as an applicant, as this can help you throughout your career. Here are some of the ways that you are legally protected during the recruitment process.
Data protection has always been one of the top priorities for hiring managers and HR professionals, however, in the wake of GDPR, this has become much more of a focus and many recruitment strategies have been refined to ensure that your information is protected.
Although GDPR is enforced within the remit of the UK and Europe, this is something that has had a global impact on the way that data is stored and shared. Any US business, for example, that trades within the UK and EU will have to also abide by this legislation, which has had a huge impact on the way most hiring managers and HR professionals store and share sensitive data.
Whether a recruitment consultant or a hiring manager has picked up your CV, they will be responsible for the safe-keeping of your sensitive information. For example, your address, phone number, email, current employers, and all of your references.
Personal data may typically be stored on a database system and it’s more than likely that recruitment consultants will also have a copy of your legal CV or your phone number stored on their work mobiles and tablets. In the wake of GDPR, the way that data is acquired, stored, and shared has been changed and this process is much more complex.
Recruiters now have to be careful with how they process and acquire your information so, for example, if you express that you are interested in new job opportunities on Linkedin, it doesn’t give the recruiter the right to download and process your information.
In order to obtain permission, recruiters now have to tell you exactly what they will be using your personal data for, who it will be shared with, how they will store your data and how long it will be stored for.
This will prevent you from being contacted by recruiters for roles that you do not necessarily want to apply for. In addition to this, you will also have the peace of mind that your personal data cannot be accessed by third parties and anybody who is not closely tied to the recruitment process.
US law dictates that it is prohibited to discriminate against any employee or applicant based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It’s illegal for employers to discriminate based on these characteristics when regarding privileges, terms, and conditions of employment.
If you are unsuccessful during the interview process, then an employer must be fair and make an informed decision based on the company culture, the job role itself, and your abilities. If you feel that you have been discriminated against during the interview process, then it is your obligation to report the hiring manager or the HR representative to prevent this from happening again.
Employers are not allowed to ask questions about your sexual orientation and are not allowed to make comments about your gender during the interview.
Additionally, if you feel that the hiring managers are expressing signs of racial prejudice, it’s important to ensure that you are communicating this with the recruiter, or even a lawyer to ensure that it is resolved fairly. The same rules apply if you were fired illegally.
As an applicant, it can often feel that you do not have a voice in the process and have to jump through hoops to express your interest and dedication to the role. If you feel uncomfortable in a task that you have been asked to perform, or through the questions that they have chosen to ask.
Remember, you have the power to refuse a role, just as much as the hiring manager has to refuse your application. If you feel that the company culture is a compromise of your own standards, then don’t act upon this.
Alice Porter works closely with Gorvins to better inform employees on their workplace rights.