Global Hiring

7 Tips to Ensure Ethical Hiring Practices in a Remote Team

August 14, 2023

Ethical hiring refers to the principles and procedures that ensure a business’s hiring process is fair, unbiased, and transparent. Following ethical hiring practices is essential for any company that wants to build its brand reputation and position itself as a values-driven employer. 

But it’s even more important in remote companies, which, by nature, require even more openness and transparency to build trust with their remote team members. Remote teams often span continents and cultures, and remote workers may have more diverse backgrounds than their traditional office-based counterparts.

By implementing ethical hiring practices, you create equal opportunities for candidates regardless of their location, race, gender, or other characteristics. Ethical hiring practices also showcase your company culture to candidates and current employees.

This contributes to a positive work environment that enhances employee engagement and satisfaction and reduces turnover. According to ECI, 85% of employees working for organizations with a strong ethical culture observe favorable outcomes — compared with 0% of employees working for organizations with a weak ethical culture.

Today, we’ll walk you through seven tips that will help you ensure your remote hiring processes are transparent and ethical. 

1. Establish Clear Job Descriptions and Requirements

One of the most common unethical hiring practices involves providing insufficient or wrongful information about an open position or embellishing the responsibilities that come with a position. 

Ethical hiring means not exaggerating job roles or presenting misleading information — instead, focus on crafting detailed and accurate job descriptions and requirements. 

Clear job descriptions help set appropriate expectations for candidates and ensure they are well-informed about the role they are applying for, reducing the risk of misleading candidates about their responsibilities and daily tasks. 

This transparency, honesty, and alignment of expectations will help you hire the right person for the job, leading to better job satisfaction and reduced turnover. 

2. Implement a Structured Interview Process

A structured interview process is essential to ensure all candidates are assessed fairly and objectively, regardless of their background or personal characteristics. A structured interview process standardizes the evaluation criteria to make the playing field as level as possible for all candidates.

Some ways to standardize the process include the following:

Define the Competencies and Skills Required for the Job

This will serve as your basis for crafting interview questions and competency tasks to gauge each candidate’s capabilities accurately. Plus, it ensures all applicants are measured against the same benchmarks, which will help you assess their abilities in a fair and accurate way.

Use Competency-Based Questions

Unlike traditional interview questions that can be open to interpretation or personal biases, competency-based questions ask candidates to provide concrete examples of their past achievements and behaviors. 

This approach provides interviewers with more reliable and objective data to make informed decisions about each candidate’s suitability for the role. Examples of competency-based questions include:

  • Provide an example of a challenge you faced at work and how you overcame it.
  • Describe a situation in which you led a team.
  • Give an example of a time when you faced conflict in the workplace and how you solved it. 
  • Which achievement are you most proud of to date? How did you go about achieving it?

Use a Scoring System

Candidate scoring enables you to identify the skills, experiences, and characteristics that a person requires to be successful in a role and to determine which criteria are most relevant at various stages of the recruiting process. 

Assign values to each item on the scorecard to assess how well each candidate performs, allowing you to rank and compare candidates objectively based on their performance. You can also consider weighting items according to their importance for the role. 

3. Anonymize Applications

Every piece of information, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can inadvertently cloud your judgment or activate your unconscious bias. You can eliminate this risk by anonymizing applications — for example, research has shown that this can mitigate gender bias.

When you don’t know anything about a candidate, you can judge their skills and experience more fairly because you’re not influenced by their name, age, race, gender, or any other personal information.  

Therefore, removing any identifying elements will facilitate impartial evaluation by ‘blinding’ your selection process. This minimizes the scope for assumptions or favoritism and makes it easier to find the best person for the job, regardless of their background. 

4. Involve Multiple Interviewers in the Process

Involving multiple interviewers in the hiring process helps to minimize bias, especially if you select an interview panel that represents a range of diverse backgrounds. 

When different individuals assess the candidates, it reduces the likelihood of individual prejudices influencing the outcome. 

Each interviewer brings their unique perspectives and experiences to the table, and collectively, they can reach a more comprehensive and well-rounded evaluation of the candidate’s qualifications.

5. Collect Information the Ethical Way

During an ethical hiring process, it’s essential to ensure you only collect information that is strictly relevant. For instance, although some companies use social media to mine private information, this is something you’ll want to avoid if you want your hiring process to be ethical. 

While social media can be an effective screening tool, LinkedIn is designed specifically for this purpose and can offer insights into a candidate’s professional background. 

However, gathering information from personal social media profiles such as TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook and letting the findings influence your decision is an invasion of privacy and an unethical hiring practice.

Additionally, some companies request information from applicants that is unrelated to determining whether they are qualified for the job. Details such as place of birth, parents’ occupation and education, or current place of residence are irrelevant to the applicant’s qualifications and can lead to unconscious biases that influence the hiring decision. 

6. Use Referral Systems Correctly

While referrals can be an effective way to find qualified candidates and improve employee retention, they also carry some risks that hiring organizations need to be aware of. 

For example, when employees refer friends, family members, or acquaintances without considering their qualifications, it can lead to hiring decisions based on personal relationships rather than merit. 

This preferential treatment can result in hiring candidates who may not be the best fit for the role. It’s important to be aware of all these potential pitfalls and avoid them to keep your hiring practices ethical. 

7. Train Hiring Managers on Ethical Hiring

Training hiring managers on ethical practices is a critical step toward establishing a fair and inclusive hiring process. Hiring managers play a pivotal role in shaping the company’s culture and workforce composition, so it’s essential for them to be familiar with ethical hiring best practices. 

The training should include elements such as: 

  • Recognizing and addressing unconscious biases that are often ingrained in individuals due to societal conditioning or personal experiences.
  • Getting educated on the importance of consistency and fairness throughout the hiring process. This includes understanding the significance of using objective criteria and standardized evaluation methods to assess candidates.

How an EOR Can Help You Hire Ethically Worldwide

Remote work has removed the geographical barriers that previously prevented people from accessing jobs outside their local area while expanding the talent pool employers can draw from.

The drawback is that this can expose candidates to unconscious bias in the hiring process — which is why ethical hiring practices are more necessary than ever in an increasingly remote world. 

One way to ensure harmonious and ethical hiring practices across multiple countries is to partner with an employer of record (EOR) like Remofirst. With our network of partners, we can help you hire ethically in over 150 countries. 

Learn more about what an Employer of Record can do for your business.