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Should you base your recruitment decision on dress codes and grooming?

by , 08 October 2014
You've heard the saying that 'first impressions count.'

This certainly applies when it comes to interviews.

When that candidate walks through the door, chances are, within ten seconds, you form an opinion about him based on his appearance and how he interacts with you.

This brings us to this question: Should you base your recruitment decision on dress codes and grooming? Should you make first impressions count?

Read on to find out the answer so you'll comply with labour law.


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Here's what you need to know if you're wondering whether it's appropriate to make a recruitment decision based on dress codes and grooming


According to the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service, you're entitled to introduce a company policy about the dress codes and grooming standards you require of your employees.
 
Our courts recognise that the appearance of a company's employees can contribute to the company's success with the public and a reasonable dress or grooming code is a proper management prerogative.
 
However, you must ensure your dress codes or grooming requirements aren't discriminatory, such as where you only impose dress or grooming codes or impose stricter requirements on one group of employees only.
 
In your recruitment process, you must inform applicants of the dress codes and grooming standard requirements at the interview stage. This way there's no problem with the codes and standards.

Essentially, you can use dress codes and grooming as a selection criteria in your recruitment process

The only condition is it must be relevant to the job and not discriminatory.

For example, if you've advertised for a receptionist in an image consulting company, it's relevant to the requirements of the position that the candidate dress appropriately and be well-groomed. On the other hand, if you're appointing an agent in a call centre, the candidate's dress is far less important as he won't be seen by customers or members of the public.
 
It's that simple.
 
Only use dress codes and grooming as a selection criteria in your recruitment process if it's relevant to the job and not discriminatory.
 
PS: If you want to ensure every step of your recruitment process is legal and effective, we strongly recommend you check out Recruitment: The Complete Guide.


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