Important aspects in recruitment and selection processes
October, 2021 - Carlos Rodriguez
The recruitment and selection process is critical for companies and certain principles related to the dignity of the human person must be respected during its execution. This first sentence for some of the readers may be strong or harsh, but it is very common in our countries to resort to certain practices and customs, which without realizing it could violate principles such as equality, equity or respect for the privacy of individuals and that could even lead in some cases to criminal liability for the people who are entrusted with the execution of this task and for the company itself.
Surely, we have all read in the newspaper or in other media advertisements stating that a certain company is looking for “a female person, between 18 and 25 years of age with good looks”, surely the company that has published this advertisement has done so with the best of intentions, but this intentionality does not free it from the risks that such advertisement could represent. Specifically, the first principle that must be respected during the selection processes is that of “Equality”, a principle that is summarized in the fact that all people are equal in dignity and rights. This fundamental principle of any legal system is protected by the crime of discrimination, which is configured when a distinction is made between people without a valid legal justification, in many cases even the criminal type indicates specific situations for which it is not possible to make a distinction between people such as sex, age, religion, political affiliation or similar. Thus, in a society that is, fortunately, evolving towards ensuring inclusion and equal opportunities, it will be more and more demanding for companies to ensure that equal opportunities are guaranteed from the recruitment process for the selection of personnel.
This call through mass media is not the only point in which the principle of equality must be safeguarded in a personnel selection process. In order to safeguard this principle, care must also be taken to ensure that during the interviews or in the job applications, the information that is collected may allow a candidate to be known objectively and only in relation to his or her abilities and aptitudes to perform the position to which he or she applies, avoiding requesting other types of information that are not directly related to the selection process.
The second principle that must be respected in any personnel selection process is the right to privacy or personal privacy, this principle should lead the company to establish policies and procedures that allow in a reasonable way to guarantee the employee the privacy and confidential handling of the information received during the selection process, this includes from the information collected in the job application or even in the interviews. This type of policies and procedures must establish at least the way in which the information is stored, the people who will have access to this information depending on whether it is medical data, test results and the time of safeguarding. It is advisable, to the extent that sensitive or intimate information is collected from the person, to grant the candidate the possibility of refraining from giving some answers, in order to demonstrate the liberality with which the candidate has provided the information.
These aspects and others such as the case of pre-employment medical examinations should be subject to a detailed review to adjust our practices and customs to those that best suit the respect for the dignity of the person and his rights.
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