Are You the Victim of Unfair & Biased Recruiting Practices

It is very important that candidates do everything within their power to ensure job search success. Many job seekers take this process very seriously, even going above and beyond to improve their resumes, practice their interview skills, and network to gain access to more job openings. Unfortunately, that is not always enough, as candidates realize it often comes down to who you know… and who will give you a chance. Many employers are fair and ethical, but there are some that use unfair, unethical and downright discriminatory practices they know are very difficult for candidates to prove.

Discrimination throughout the hiring process is illegal, but happens more often than you think. Recruiters and hiring managers bring their own ignorance, preconceived notions and prejudices to work with them. Job search discrimination is not usually blatant and can present in various forms. It can be based on race, age, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, religion and other factors. Unfortunately, many people face discrimination on a daily basis while job hunting, feeling powerless as a result. Typically the reason given by employers as to why a candidate was not selected is very generic, such as, “we found a candidate whose background more closely fits the position.” Sounds familiar? So how can you tell if you’re being discriminated against, or if you’re just truly not right for the job? Well, it is very difficult to prove discrimination with such a generic response.

So, are you wondering what you can do to avoid discrimination while job hunting? You can prepare yourself by knowing what are acceptable and unacceptable practices throughout the recruiting process. Here are some tips to help you avoid discrimination while job hunting.

  • Be very aware that racism and bigotry follow people to work, so some recruiters and hiring managers do bring their biases to work.
  • Understand that businesses are a part of society at large, so HR laws and company policies do not stop unscrupulous recruiters and hiring managers from making hiring decisions based on their prejudices.
  • Avoid including information on your resume that may disclose your race, age, national origin, and other info that can be used against you.
  • Be aware that employers can look at your LinkedIn and other social media profiles to exclude you based on what you look like. You can always remove your LinkedIn and social media pictures if you feel that could be used to discriminate against you.
  • Do not respond to questions that force you to give personal info that can be used against you, such as your marital status, plans to start a family, etc.
  • Don’t underestimate your gut feelings about the behavior of recruiters and hiring managers. Your instincts are usually right.
  • Understand that being qualified is not always enough if you are dealing with unethical and biased recruiters and hiring managers.

Are you currently interviewing but having a difficult time landing a job?  Do you feel you may be the victim of discrimination during your job search?  Are you at wits end and feel no matter what you do you keep meeting biased recruiters and hiring managers?  You are not alone! Contact APEX Career Services to discuss interview techniques and tips that can help you deal with the interview and job search process.  Contact us today at We look forward to helping you successfully maneuver the job search process so you land gainful employment.

Franz, N. (2021). A Phenomenological Case Study to Describe the Ageism-Induced Anxiety of Job Seekers Aged 50–83 [Ed.D. Problem of Practice]. Baylor University.

Biased Recruiting Practices