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Red flags to watch for and avoid when it comes to hiring

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2023 | Labour And Employment Law |

Any time businesses welcome a new worker, it can change the workplace. Whether this change is for the better or worse can depend on the hiring process and how employers decide who to hire. To make this process go smoothly, watching for and avoiding certain words in job listings and interviews is essential.

Discriminatory words and descriptions

Employers might not come right out and say “male candidates only” or “must be under 40” when they post a job, but there are other ways they can discriminate against potential employees.

Some examples of subtle – or even unintentional – discriminatory language in a job posting might include:

  • Specifying graduation years (e.g., “recent graduates”)
  • Gender-specific words like “waitress” or “salesman”
  • References to language, like “proficiency” or “accent-free”

Instead, neutral language that addresses the specific requirements of a job can be best.

“Cute” language

When companies use “cute” words rather than professional words, the posting might not attract the intended candidates, and it can lack the specificity needed to attract someone who would be a good fit. Words like “rock star” or “ninja” may be less effective than common titles and requirements.

Missing information

Leaving out information can be just as problematic as any information employers do provide. For instance, leaving out things like expected pay or pay range, technical requirements and specific job duties can lead to confusion and misaligned goals. It can also be a red flag if employers withhold information about the workplace culture or environment.

If a job posting or interview leaves candidates with more questions than answers, it can be a sign that the company is not sure of these details themselves or wants to conceal something.

Promises or guarantees

Job listings and interviews are not the right places to over-commit. Employers that misrepresent salary, benefits or expectations can wind up in legal hot water, so watch out for anything that seems too good to be true.

Whether you are an employer or a potential employee, watching out for these types of problematic language and mistakes can be crucial and protect parties from toxic workplaces and legal conflicts.



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