5 Ways the MA Equal Pay Law Has Transformed the Interview Process

September 22, 2018

Since it went into effect this summer, some outlets have been calling Massachusetts’ new Equal Pay Act the “most powerful equal pay law in the country.” With all of the buzz surrounding this revolutionary legislation, it goes without saying that it will have a dramatic effect on business operations.

Here are five things you should know about ways the MA Equal Pay Law has transformed the interview process.

  1. Before the Interview

The Equal Pay Act will certainly affect how you conduct interviews, but a quality interview begins with sufficient preparation. Before interviews, ensure that your job postings are updated in order to safeguard against any phrasing that does not comply with the new legislation.

It may seem like a minor detail, but effectively describing the positions you have available in a way that capitalizes on the new benefits of the new policies shows your candidates that you are aware of the most current legislation and that you are also making strides to provide the best treatment of your employees. This can result in more highly qualified candidates.

  1. Questions Asked

The interview process primarily hinges on the types of questions that are asked to acquire information on each candidate. While the Equal Pay Act is blazing a trail toward comparable pay for all, it may present a bit of a challenge when obtaining information on employee qualifications .

HR departments should be sure to review their sets of prepared questions to ensure that none of them impose upon the confidentiality afforded by the Equal Pay Act.

Interviewers should avoid asking any questions that require candidates to reveal a current or former salary. Instead, check out this article for some simple ways to modify your questions.

  1. Information Provided By the Candidate

Since employee pay inquiries are no longer allowed in Massachusetts, you can anticipate that you will learn less of an employee’s pay history in interviews. Though this may seem like an obstacle when it comes to gauging a candidate’s previous success on the job, it can actually be a tremendous benefit to you as the interviewer.

The conversation with the candidate should now focus more on their actual job performance in previous positions with particular attention brought to specific examples of their exceptional work. Doing away with pay history inquiries prevents employers from being blinded by larger salaries (or smaller ones) and keeps your interviewers from drawing conclusions on a candidate’s skills based on pay.

As much as your interviewers may try to be objective, details like pay history can be distracting. The Equal Pay Act safeguards against being mislead by former salaries and ensures that the focus of the interview is on what is more important: the strongest qualities of each candidate.

  1. Pools of Candidates

The positive reception of this new legislation gives cause for a new insurgence of confidence in employees everywhere. Because of this, you may experience a wave of job candidates with greater diversity than ever before. Candidates who may have been wary of applying for positions for fear of discriminatory pay might be more willing to apply.

This is an incomparable benefit for employers, enabling your business to choose from the best of the best, when it comes to applicants.

Your interviewers should prepare themselves for a more diverse pool of applicants and consider how this may affect how they conduct themselves in an interview.

  1. Making Offers

Making offers to candidates may also require some augmentation of your HR strategies when it comes to interviews.

When your interviewing staff prepares for interviews, it is now much more important to have an idea of what is an objectively reasonable offer should they need to do so. Since employee pay queries are prohibited, your offers should focus less on what a candidate made previously and more on what is fair for the position available.

The mechanics of incorporating new legislation into your business may mean some significant changes to your HR processes. While this may be intimidating, the HR experts at Commonwealth Payroll and HR are ready to help you navigate these challenges. Give us a call today at 978-599-1500 to ask what we can do to support your HR and Payroll needs.

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