Internationally, regulations have been instituted to ensure fair recruitment practices. In South Africa, unfair recruitment persists, suggesting prejudiced wage negotiations.
Three unfair recruitment advantages prejudice job seekers in South Africa
Recruiting the right talent is essential for the success of any business. However, the recruitment process can be flawed, and some practices can give certain candidates an unfair advantage. In this article, we’ll explore three unfair recruitment advantages: the absence of a pay range in job advertisements, asking applicants about their pay expectations, and demanding pay slips.
Three Unfair Recruitment Advantages
When one party to a negotiation has more information than another, it is referred to as an asymmetric information advantage. This means both sides in the negotiation are not equal.
For example, you want to make me an offer to buy my car and ask me if it’s ever been in an accident. I know that if I say ‘yes, there were three’ you may cancel the deal, so I say ‘only a minor fender bender.’ I withhold information purposefully in order to seal the deal in my favour.
When you’re looking for a job and face the following three unfair recruitment advantages, what will you do?
UNFAIR INFORMATION ADVANTAGE ONE
No pay ranges in job adverts
- don’t employers know how much they offer and who they hope to target?
- do they omit because money doesn’t matter even though the only way employees survive in our economy is to earn a salary?
One of the most significant issues with the recruitment process is the absence of a pay range in job advertisements. Without a pay range, applicants have no idea what salary to expect for the position. This lack of transparency can lead to confusion, frustration, and unfairness. Candidates who are not aware of the expected salary range may be underpaid, and those who are aware of the expected salary range may still be underpaid if they are not able to negotiate effectively.
UNFAIR INFORMATION ADVANTAGE TWO
Asking applicants about their pay expectations
- if no pay is advertised, why should potential candidates volunteer their pay expectations? What’s fair about that?
- if the employer doesn’t know what to offer, why should candidates be coerced into providing this market research?
Another unfair recruitment advantage is asking applicants about their pay expectations. This practice can be problematic because it can lead to bias in the recruitment process. For example, if a candidate’s pay expectations are higher than the company’s budget, they may be eliminated from consideration, even if they are the best candidate for the job. This can lead to qualified candidates being overlooked simply because their pay expectations are too high.
UNFAIR INFORMATION ADVANTAGE THREE
Demanding payslips from candidates
- information is used against the applicant’s interests, breach of trust
- pay-slips are used to price-fix wages
- job applicants are coerced into divulging sensitive employer information, the equivalent of industrial espionage in order to undermine fair competition for talent
Demanding pay slips from applicants is another practice that can give certain candidates an unfair advantage. This practice can be particularly problematic for individuals who have been underpaid in the past. If a person has been underpaid in their previous job, this will reflect in their pay history, and they may be offered a lower salary than someone who has been fairly compensated. This can perpetuate existing pay gaps and lead to unequal pay.
Let’s bring it down South Africa!