How and why should an employer consider creating a uniform applicant screening process?

Documentation of a uniform applicant screening process will provide a strong defense to a “failure to hire” or “failure to promote” claim. Below are 5 actions to consider when creating an applicant screening process:

  1. Prepare a specific job description and minimum requirements
  2. Identify objective reasons for disqualification from the position before beginning the hiring process. For example:
    • Did not meet minimum qualifications – did not meet education or experience requirements, incomplete application, failed drug and/or background check, cannot perform essential functions of the job;
    • Candidate withdrew/candidate not interested – could not reach individual to follow up, candidate no longer interested, cannot work the required hours or didn’t like the work environment, accepted another position during the recruiting process;
    • Not best qualified – met minimum requirements but had poor interview, other candidates had stronger work history, references were not favorable; or
    • Candidate declined offer.
  3. Create a standardized written process to follow with all applicants and consider all applicants through its lens
    • This should include a uniform set of questions to ask all applicants.
  4. Retain documents related to applicants for at least one year

Taking the steps identified here will put an employer in a strong position to defend a “failure to hire/promote” lawsuit. Having a thoroughly documented interview and evaluation process can prove that candidate selection was based on legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons.

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The information herein is not legal advice. The information is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter discussed.  The above is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.