How will men respond to illegal interview questions?

by Dec 11, 2015

Illegal interview questions are still commonplace


Illegal interview questions

Asking women about their intentions to get married and their family planning and childcare arrangements, during the recruitment process is illegal in most developed economies. It is at least seen as politically incorrect. However they are still being posed to professional women in hiring and promotion situations on a regular basis.

One of the most popular questions asked at all 3Plus Mini-Mentoring Events on two continents is “How do we deal with this sexist situation?”

In recent EU research pre-occupation with women and their family situation is the number one concern in the selection process, coming in before education and experience. Read: 8 things you should know about interviewing women

Unconscious bias

One candidate who interviewed in the same company as her spouse, reported that she was quizzed about childcare arrangements, while her husband was not. Both turned down offers as they felt it signalled an insight into the corporate culture. The in-house recruiter was in both cases a woman.This type of unconscious bias and illegal questioning isn’t just a male area of activity. Women recruiters also have to be mindful of the sand traps created by implicit bias.

With the extension of the concept of parenting leave for male employees, will hiring managers and recruiters start asking men the same questions? If so – how will they respond? Men who take care of their children on an ad hoc basis report that this is perceived well by bosses and colleagues. But when it happens on a regular basis, there is strong evidence to suggest that the response begins to become negative.

Change on the horizon?

So as Mark Zuckerberg announces an intention to take two months parenting leave at a time when Marisa Meyer takes her “limited time” off following the birth of twins, no less, will we start to see some shifts at other levels of seniority and in other businesses? At HR Tech in Paris, there was much talk of putting the humanity back into HR.  Will all the talk about raising kids and family see different HR approaches on a wider scale?

We have drafted a short poll to help us get a feel for how you gentlemen would react to the same type of questioning. Could you please take a few minutes to complete it so we can get some idea of your responses.

Take the poll HERE

If your company needs unconscious bias training for your hiring managers – contact 3Plus

Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she supports organizations to achieve business success via gender balance, diversity and inclusion. She is CIPD qualified, and a certified coach and trainer including digital learning.
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