Casting Your Applicant Net a Little Wider

I’ve read several job advertisements lately that seem to be limiting their usefulness in attracting a variety of applicants – and in some cases, could contain potentially discriminatory guidelines.  A few “stipulations” that should be reconsidered:


Requiring applicants to respond only by email/postal mail.  Unless there is a legitimate business need for requiring respondents to use one or the other – why not utilize both?  The argument can be made that requiring applicants to submit resumes “online only” tends to screen out minorities.  Instead, make more than one form of contact available to job seekers.

Requiring applicants to submit references with a resume.  I can understand the desire to speed up the recruiting process, but requesting references before an interview just doesn’t make sense.  Performing reference checks can be time-consuming, but it’s necessary.  Most applicants aren’t accompanied by “ready-made” written references, anyway!

Requiring applicants to own a car.  I noticed this job “requirement” in three separate advertisements.  Unless this is a bona fide occupational qualification, avoid this phrase like the plague.  As long as a candidate can work the desired schedule, don’t ask how he/she will get to work.

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