The Most Important Lesson
Throughout my time learning about recruitment and selection, I always found myself particularly interested in learning how to protect yourself from the legal issues that can arise in this area. You often hear the specter of lawsuits being brought up when discussing hiring, but it is often not talked about in much detail. This would often leave me to wonder what steps can be taken at various junctions in the hiring process to minimize the legal risk I or the company are exposed to. Though notably there was also an important distinction made early on with regards to the differences between laws and regulations, professional guidelines, and ethical guidelines. It can sometimes be difficult to know how these three areas interact with each other in the workplace, so differentiating them from the start was great for clarity.
That being said, when developing a recruitment and selection plan, you have to always keep the relevant laws, rulings, and regulations that have been made in the past in mind. As time has gone on, the number of protected groups and the laws surrounding hiring has continued to evolve. It was made clear during the course of this class that any successful HR professional will need to constantly update their knowledge in order ensure they can maintain compliance with the standards of the day.
Beyond the more general points regarding the law, there were many examples of specific things that you should lookout for and understand about how courts will view issues. For one such example, discrimination is often split into two main camps. The first of which is the unintentional form called adverse impact, and the second intentional form called disparate treatment. In this case, being cognizant of the fact that it is still possible to be sued for unintentional discrimination is very important. It bolsters the point that you need to be constantly aware of what your workforce and hiring practices look like, both in theory and in practice.
While it may not always be the most glamorous or joyous subject, it was great to learn a lot of details about just how important laws and regulations are in Human Resources. Appreciating this is an absolute must for anyone interested in recruitment, and I believe it was one of, if not the most important things we got to learn about during the course.