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May 11, 2015

I was appalled when I reviewed a new client’s hiring system.

It turns out that it was designed by their legal department. While it went to extremes to ensure no illegal questions were asked, not one thing about it helped its users make good hiring decisions.

The upshot, of course, is that while this employer is unlikely to be sued for discrimination in the hiring process, they are by far more likely to be sued for the misdoings of an substandard employee (an unreliable or unsafe worker who never should have been hired in the first place).

Here’s the kicker:

There’s no reason to ask about race, religion, marital status, and age anyway. What needs to be asked are questions like: “How many times were you absent from work last year for reasons other than personal illness?” “Do you have reliable transportation?” “What did you think of your last employer’s safety policies and procedures?”

This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.