HR, Are You a Hoarder?

Learn how to declutter your job application form of any irrelevant or potentially discriminatory fields, which can impact your decision-making.

07 Jun 2019 Articles Employment contract Recruitment Service contract Best practices

job application form

HR, Are You a Hoarder?

As a HR leader or hiring manager, you might feel that collecting more information is always better. However, the “just in case I need it” or “we’ve always done it this way” approach will lead some of us to collect information that is irrelevant to the job requirements and we can even be seen as discriminatory!

Collecting such information could put your company at risk of non-adherence with the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices, and can potentially hinder your talent search.

Job application forms are not just an administrative tool. It says a lot about your organisation and its culture, and can shape a candidate’s experience and perception from the onset!

Creating a positive candidate experience should be part of your talent acquisition strategy. Companies that make a good impression throughout the recruitment and selection process are better able to attract top talent and build their company brand. A small enhancement such as streamlining your job application form to remove irrelevant fields can positively impact the impression that candidates have of your company.

Take the first step now to declutter your job application form by discarding fields that are potentially discriminatory, which could trigger our unconscious biases and impact our decision-making. Don’t be a hoarder!

Here’s a checklist to ensure that you adhere to the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices

  • Only ask candidates for information directly related to the job, i.e. the essential information that my interviewers can refer to during the job interview. For instance, their employment history and qualifications.
  • Refrain from asking personal information such as age, date of birth, gender, race, religion, marital status and family responsibilities including whether an applicant is pregnant or has children, and his/her disability.
  • Refrain from requesting personal details such as photograph and national service liability, or requiring a declaration on mental health conditions, as these generally are not considerations in assessing my applicant’s suitability.
  • Provide job-related reason(s) if there are specific requirements to ask for any of the above information before a job offer is made.
  • Accept passport details as an alternative in cases where legal identification such as NRIC details are required for specific job-related reasons (e.g. security clearance), which can be telling of age. 

Need more help with your application forms? Refer to the Fair Recruitment and Selection Handbook for a sample of the job application form. 

Tip: To learn more about Unconscious biases and the impact on your decision-making, read “Facing the Illusion of Inclusion”.