As an employer, your focus during the recruitment process should always be on finding the most qualified person to fit a specific role within your organization. We’ve found that dealerships hire the right individual about 50 percent of the time. Simultaneously, the average turnover rate for salespeople at today’s dealerships hovers around 70 percent.
When the stakes are this high to make the right hire for your business, it’s critical that every aspect of your hiring process is rock solid. For employers and candidates alike, the in-person interview stage is both a stressful event and one meant to effectively highlight the job seeker’s qualities and qualifications. If you don’t have a documented, reproducible interviewing strategy, it’s likely that you’re falling into the trap of asking the wrong types of questions.
Worse, it’s very possible that you’re asking illegal questions that are not only harmful to the interview process overall, but also puts your dealership at risk for potentially costly litigation.
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How to Recognize Illegal Questions Many times, interviewers aren’t even aware of the fact that they’re asking illegal questions. This is especially the case when you don’t have a human resources professional who has clearly defined hiring processes and interview protocols — a situation that many dealerships experience on a daily basis.
Some of the most common errors in interview questioning relate to age, gender, citizenship, national origin or language, marital status, family status, sexual orientation and criminal history.
Here are some examples to give you a clearer understanding how you can easily wander into illegal territory:
Both state and federal regulatory bodies have established protections against discrimination with respect to these classifications. However, penalties and fines are only one way that illegal questions can harm your dealership.
How These Questions Do Harm to Your Dealership There are three big issues that arise from illegal interview questions — otherwise known as discriminatory employment practices.
First, your dealership will face fines and penalties from state and federal agencies. The EEOC is the primary federal and local governing body for this sort of issue, while the U.S. Department of Labor is also involved in these types of cases.
At the same time, your dealership will have to deal with litigation costs as a result of any legal action taken on the part of candidates who claim you’ve discriminated against them. There are costly legal fees for the attorneys needed to represent your business, but you may be asked to cover the costs of the plaintiff ’s fees, as well.
Finally, you will ultimately create a poor reputation as an employer. With review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, job seekers and existing employees have significant power in helping other candidates form opinions about an employer.
Glassdoor has a review section specifically for job interviews, meaning any improper practices will likely be brought to light. Meanwhile, any cases that get covered in the media will produce negative PR for your brand.
Put the Right Processes in Place Consistency is a strong antidote for illegal interview questions. By putting a hiring process in place, which includes interview question guidelines, you can avoid sticking your foot in your mouth as you recruit new talent. More importantly, you’re also able to avoid negative consequences that can impact your bottom line and future prospects of building a solid talent pipeline.
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