If you’ve seen last night’s episode of The Apprentice, you’ll know that it didn’t come across well for those in the legal profession. Lord Sugar’s made no bones about his dislike for lawyers in recent episodes, but now we think he may be rapidly becoming something not unlike a character from Shakespeare’s Henry VI

However, in an interview process, should Lord Sugar be quite so discriminatory towards his candidates? We look into the dos and don’ts of recruiting for a new member of your team.

First and foremost – treat them with respect

Making them feel stupid, or insinuating they’re liars or deluded, isn’t the most constructive way of going about an interview process. Not only is the interview an opportunity for you to get a handle on what the candidate is like and how they present themselves in person, it’s also their chance to get a bit more of an idea as to how the company they’ve applied for works.

Your reputation is important so don’t ruin it, even for a candidate you aren’t interested in employing.

Don’t catch them out

The world of work can be unexpected, but there’s no need to surprise your potential candidates with trick questions or by catching them out in some way. If they’ve made an error, or don’t come across how you would have expected, just take a note and move on – after all, you’re the one interviewing and you can always feed back to them afterwards should they request it.

This feedback is important as, if handled sensitively, it can leave a good impression about your company where there might not have otherwise been one. You may not have much time to give them the notes they were looking for, but part of treating the candidate with respect is giving them this information – and who knows, they may think of applying again once they have gained more experience and are an even better candidate!

Don’t discriminate

Now we get to the crux of the issue with last night’s episode – whilst not discriminatory against any protected or personal characteristics, Lord Sugar and his team’s comments about lawyers could be seen as a step too far. Whatever the candidate’s current role, you should be as fair as is reasonably possible, and avoid getting into any discussions about personal situations unless they initiate the conversation; questions about their family plans are a definite no-go! Don’t forget that even though applicants aren’t yet employed by you they still have the ability to claim discrimination.

So until next week – when we’re sure there’ll be more duff comments from the candidates and Lord Sugar alike – we leave you to mull over the latest developments on The Apprentice, and think about how not to run the HR for your business!

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