Hiring staff is a great benchmark for how well your Startup is growing. Many of our clients have started their companies with just themselves and now they’re hiring employees and operating payroll for a whole team.

Dermot Diver. Employment Law Consultant from HR firm Peninsula has given our clients this helpful guide on the dos and don’t’s of advertising jobs. As the economy nears full-employment, recruitment looks set to be one of the most pressing issues facing business in 2019. The following list of do’s and dont’s looks at some common pitfalls your business needs to watch out for when advertising jobs vacancies.

Do broaden your search

Ireland’s workforce is more diverse than ever before. Immigration, longer working lives and greater equality of opportunity have combined to produce the most varied workforce in the history of the state. As your Startup battles with competitors to recruit and retain talent, casting your net far and wide is likely to yield better results. Recruiting from a diverse talent pool and developing an inclusive workplace is also fast becoming a prerequisite to compete in an ever-tightening labour market.

Don’t discriminate

This may seem obvious in the 21st century business world but as can be seen from the following example, employers are still posting discriminatory job advertisements. It was surprising to read reports last year that a post advertised on the recruitment site indeed.com specified that ‘persons with young children need not apply’. It is unusual for such a discriminatory job advertisement to be published but this story just goes to show that mistakes do happen.

Do familiarise yourself with equality legislation

When it comes to advertising vacancies, the key piece of legislation remains the Employment Equality Acts, 1998 – 2015 (the EEA). As well as regulating the employment relationship, the EEA also prohibit employers from carrying out discriminatory recruitment practices before the employment relationship begins. The principal aim of the EEA is to outlaw discrimination on the basis of the following nine grounds; gender, sexual orientation, disability, civil status, religious belief, race (to include colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins), family status, age and membership of the Traveller community.

Don’t imply discriminatory recruitment criteria

Job advertisements must be carefully worded to avoid the implication that a discriminatory recruitment decision will be made based on any of the nine grounds. Advertisements that exclude potential applicants will attract scrutiny both from disappointed applicants and Ireland’s independent equality body, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. Ryanair was famously ordered to pay €8,000 in compensation. This was in the first case adjudicated by the Equality Authority (as it was then) after the airline posted a job advertisement seeking a “young and dynamic professional”. It will be no defence for you to state that you did not intend to exclude any applicant or group of applicants.

Do give a fair and accurate description of the position

As a rule, an advertisement for a position should give a fair and accurate description of the role being offered. It is important to remember that your core competence is unlikely to be advertising so the assistance of a recruitment agency or the advertising publication should be sought to ensure no discriminatory content is included in your job description. Using the reliable ‘company, role, candidate’ approach can help keep you on track.

Don’t pretend to be something you’re not

Your Startup should avoid corporate jargon and try to remain faithful to the personality of your organisation when drafting job adverts. Using the traditional ‘company, role, candidate’ format and following the advice set out above will help you to avoid using discriminatory content in your job adverts while also allowing you to reflect the culture of your organisation.

Discrimination claims are expensive!

Your business could suffer significant financial penalties as well as reputational damage if it posts a discriminatory job advertisement. You may be liable to make a payment of compensation of up to €13,000. Taking the time to carefully draft job advertisements which focus on the skills required to do the job will greatly reduce the risk of publishing a discriminatory job posting.

If you have an employment-related query, the employment law specialists at Peninsula Ireland will be happy to discuss your situation and offer insights into the best options available to you.

Please call today on 018506054 or visit the website at www.peninsulagrouplimited.com/ie/.

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Get In Touch With Peninsula

Talk to a HR expert on on 00353 1 850 6054 or send an email to Patrick Whelan, Employment Consultancy Manager here: Patrick.Whelan@peninsula-ie.com