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How to Avoid Discrimination in Your FQHC Hiring

In some ways, accidental discrimination in hiring is just as painful as if it were deliberate. Both irreparably harm the relationship you had with the candidate (or didn’t have) as well as disrupting staff morale, your organizational reputation, and potentially your bottom line. Even appearing to be discriminatory is bad for your organization, so here are some reminders for how to avoid discrimination in your FQHC hiring practices.

Tips for Avoiding Discriminatory Hiring Practices in FQHC Hiring

It’s easy to become complacent during the hiring process. It doesn’t help that the rules for discrimination in hiring can change even state-by-state. For FQHCs, this increases the risk that someone in your organization will run afoul of the latest changes to laws, rules, and regulations for hiring. These five tips will help you stay legal and protect your organization.

1. Start with a thorough and carefully written job description.

Having a job description that is well-written and thorough can support your case for non-discrimination if you’re slapped with a lawsuit later on. Your job description should objectively outline the basic responsibilities and duties of the position, along with the candidate requirements that would make them suitable to do the job. Make sure you avoid gender references in the description and always include the descriptor, “We are an equal opportunity employer.”

2. Make sure your hiring process is legally sound.

This means your interviews comply with all federal and state laws that prohibit asking certain types of specific questions which violate the privacy of the applicant. For example, never ask if the person is married or what year they graduated from college. Too, make sure your organization complies with the latest round of “ban the box” rules which can prohibit inquiring about a candidate’s criminal background during the interview process.

3. Be as consistent as possible during the interview process.

This includes providing your hiring teams with some guidelines on what questions they can and cannot ask candidates. Don’t assume someone outside of HR will be completely aware of the latest changes in non-discriminatory hiring and interview questions. Protect yourself and your organization by establishing good questions to ask.

4. Train your interviewers.

This relates to point #3, as well. Talk with your team about limiting polite, friendly conversation that can lead down topics unrelated to the job—particularly related to religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.

5. Keep your questions tied to the job description.

Not only should each candidate be asked the same questions, but they should be related to the job description itself. Try to ask a question about each of the key responsibilities of the position. It’s fine, then, to ask more probing questions based on the candidate’s response. But don’t stray too far from the script with the first question to ensure everyone is treated equally and fairly.

FQHCs have a can-do attitude, which is great when you wear so many hats. Executive teams that feel stretched beyond their capacity should consider a partnership with UHC Solutions. Our job is to maintain relationships with top talent, then manage them through the hiring process until they come on board. If you’re challenged about your hiring goals, contact us today.


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