ITS Policy on Age Discrimination
As you will be aware, The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 - SI No 2006/1031 - came into force on 1 October 2006.
This legislation aims to prevent discrimination against job holders and job seekers on the basis of their age. All job candidates are protected, regardless of their age. We need to ensure that our practices comply with the new law and that we assist our clients to recruit the best candidates while ensuring there is no unlawful age discrimination in their decision.
There are some immediate considerations for registration, advertising, job descriptions, CVs and interviewing.
Candidates who register with us complete an application form and an equal opportunities form.
We currently register candidates on our database only if we have met them or if we have spoken with them and consider them potentially good for our particular client base. We interview the latter group when we have a position that would suit them. Records are kept of all interviews.
We give reasons to all candidates who are rejected for positions for which they apply. Reasons for rejection are recorded on the database for candidates who are registered with us. Rejections to candidates who do not make it onto the database are kept for 6 months.
There has been much debate about the impact of the age laws on the wording job adverts. Words relating directly to age must not be used (such as “old”, “young”, “mature”) and selection of candidates must not be made according to such criteria.
It has been suggested that other words may be potentially discriminatory in advertisements, on the basis that they may suggest an employer is looking for a candidate of a particular age group (such as “dynamic”, “ambitious”, “experienced”). Use of such words is not automatically unlawful, but thought should be given to how the advertisement is drafted, if words like these appear in our client’s instructions. We must consider and discuss with the client exactly what criteria are being used for selection, and what the words are seeking to convey.
CVs and dates:
It is not unlawful simply to include dates on a CV, including date of birth. However, given that some dates are unnecessary and entirely irrelevant to our and the client’s decision-making, we will be making some changes to the dates that appear on CVs.
· Dates of birth: We will retain dates of birth on our system so we have information on age profiles of candidates at every stage: interview at ITS; those we submit to the client; those who the client interviews; those the client rejects/offers. These dates though will not be included as a candidate skills search field. We will remove dates of birth from CVs submitted to clients.
· Dates of education: We will not include dates of academic qualifications or courses, as they are closely associated to age. It has been argued that date of degree is relevant in order to show gaps between this and employment. We feel that a subsequent work record with no gaps is sufficient to cover this. Course dates are not relevant as candidates would not pass our interview process if their skills do not apply to current technology.
· Dates of employment: We will retain dates of employment. We need to be able to identify frequent changes in jobs and gaps in employment so that we can ask candidates for explanations. Clients have mentioned that they also find it useful to know how long someone stayed in any given position before promotion.
Job descriptions and requirements:
We need to consider carefully any job and candidate requirements notified to us by clients. If any requirements appear to be age-related, or to negatively impact on a particular age group, we will ask the client to explain the reason for and justify those requirements.
In particular, if we receive a job description that asks for a specific number of years of experience, we will discuss with the client exactly what experience they are looking for. We will need clarification on the type and depth of experience required, by reference to specific examples, and how long a candidate would normally take to gain such experience. This will be taken into account when assessing candidates, but absolute limits for experience (whether minimum or maximum) will not normally be appropriate. The competency-based framework is more appropriate to assess whether a candidate has the skills and experience necessary for the job.
We interview all candidates based on their competencies, and compare them with competencies required by clients for any given position. We therefore always have a good reason for not submitting a candidate and our clients always provide us with good feedback, which we document.
We have used a competency-based interview framework since 2000 so are experienced at identifying talent regardless of the length of time an individual have been working. This is what gives us our competitive edge - we find the candidates that are not immediately obvious and that other agencies would overlook.
We predict that companies will develop further their skills selection by moving further towards recruitment based on core competency and potential rather than specific product experience over time. This will involve defining more formally the exact competencies required for all roles in their businesses then applying the right psychometric tests.
In order to help clients select CVs of candidates we have interviewed, we are assessing the cost and logistics of applying psychometric tests to candidates registering in our offices.