What Makes Fair Hiring? Part 1: Establishing a Fair Hiring Policy

What are key steps to establishing your organisation's fair hiring policy?

22 Jun 2022 Articles Recruitment Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices Trending Best practices

Fairness in the workplace contributes to employees’ engagement and motivation. The principle of fairness should extend across all facets of an employee’s work experience – starting from recruitment.

Let’s start by establishing a fair hiring policy.

Developing a Fair Hiring Policy

A hiring policy sets your organisation’s overall approach and expectations towards hiring, ensuring fairness and consistency across all steps of the hiring process. This reinforces your organisation’s commitment towards being a fair employer. Here are some steps to take.

Involve all stakeholders in the process

It is important that all stakeholders who contribute to the hiring process are involved in the development of your hiring approach. This may include:

  • Senior management
  • Line managers who are Hiring managers
  • HR team

Set a clear purpose of your policy and overall guidelines

An effective company policy on fair hiring leads with a statement on its purpose and objectives. Consider including:

  • Importance of hiring talent based on merit
  • Company values that your hiring process should reflect and why this is important to the overall public perception that you are a fair employer
  • Intended outcomes of your fair hiring policy, e.g. provide fair opportunities to all employees and applicants, hiring based on merit and creating an environment that treats all employees and candidates fairly and with respect, etc.


Detail the key steps in your hiring and selection process


  • What is the approval process to hire for a position? How do managers communicate their request for headcount?
  • Are there industry hiring regulations?
  • Does your current process unintentionally create barriers against certain groups of employees, e.g. persons with disabilities, back-to-work mums, older workers, etc.?
  • Are there adjustments or considerations the organisation can make in exceptional cases?


  • Before an advertisement is posted, are there safeguards in place to ensure that discriminatory content is removed from advertisements? 
  • Is there a proper approval process for the posting of advertisements?


This includes the screening of applicants and resumes before the interview.

  • Are there certain job types/ranks that require pre-selection tests or multiple rounds of interviews, etc.?  If so, are these fairly calibrated? 
  • How were the shortlisting criteria defined?
  • Are these criteria also described in the advertisements?


  • Are interviewers trained and prepared to conduct interviews fairly, e.g., training on TGFEP, unconscious bias, interview and selection procedure, etc.?
  • Are interviewers trained to show respect and exercise sensitivity during interviews?

Reference Checks

  • Do you perform a reference check?
  • Is this a standard requirement or required only in specific instances/jobs?

Job Offers

  • Are the terms and conditions provided in accordance with the Employment Act?
  • Are salary offers and terms and conditions of employment based on a framework to ensure equity?
  • Are candidates provided sufficient time to clarify terms and conditions, and consider the offer?

Early efforts to establish and implement fair guiding principles drive consistency of the right behaviours and improve quality and effectiveness of hiring. Above all, this sets up your organisation for a successful hire and meet your recruitment goals.

This article is part of a series to facilitate the review of your hiring practices to establish your organisation’s commitment towards fair hiring.