Rhona Barnett-Pierce


Image of Rhona Pierce, a Black woman, and the words: Align your hiring with EEOC's new guidance. Newsletter #027

5 Steps to Align Your Hiring Practices with EEOC’s 2024 Guidance

In this email, I’ll explain how to align your hiring practices with the EEOC’s 2024 harassment guidance released in April. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend checking out my latest podcast episode, TA’s Guide to EEOC’s New Harassment Guidance, where I discuss this topic in depth with Jennifer Laurie, Chief People Officer at StartOut.

By learning how to align your hiring practices with the new guidance, you’ll create a more inclusive and compliant hiring process that mitigates legal risks and helps you attract and retain qualified talent who value working in a safe and equitable environment.

GIF of Cartman from South Park standing at a locker and all of his friends looking at him and the words: I'm gonna start following the rules

Today, I’m sharing 5 actionable steps you can take to align your hiring practices with the new guidance.

Let’s dive in:

Step 1: Update your anti-harassment and non-discrimination policies

It’s crucial to explicitly include gender identity, gender expression, and intersectional harassment in your policies. By doing so, you demonstrate your commitment to creating an inclusive workplace and set clear expectations for everyone involved in the hiring process. As Jennifer mentioned in the podcast, this is a critical first step in aligning your practices with the new guidance.

Step 2: Provide comprehensive harassment training to all employees involved in hiring

Many organizations make the mistake of only providing generalized anti-harassment training to employees. This training is rarely specific to hiring, and when it is available, it’s usually only for recruiters and hiring managers. It’s important to ensure that everyone involved in the hiring process receives training on the new guidance, including how to identify and address harassment and how to create an inclusive interview experience for candidates of all backgrounds.

Step 3: Establish clear and confidential reporting mechanisms for candidates

Candidates must feel safe and empowered to report harassment during the hiring process. Implement clear and confidential reporting channels, such as a dedicated email address or hotline, and communicate these options to candidates throughout the process. In the podcast, Jennifer and I discuss the importance of responding promptly and appropriately to all harassment claims, no matter when they occur in the hiring process.

Step 4: Standardize interview questions and processes

Develop a structured interview process with standardized questions to reduce the risk of inappropriate or discriminatory inquiries. Train interviewers on how to ask legal, relevant questions and provide them with guidelines on what topics to avoid. This step is particularly important given the new guidance’s emphasis on single instances of severe harassment, as discussed in the episode.

Step 5: Assess your hiring data through an intersectional lens

One of the biggest takeaways from my conversation with Jennifer was her callout to regularly analyze your hiring data, considering the intersections of various identities such as race, gender, age, and disability status. This approach will help you identify potential areas for improvement in your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and make data-driven decisions to create a more equitable hiring process. Jennifer and I dive deeper into the concept of intersectionality in the podcast, so be sure to give it a listen for more insights on this topic.


By following these five steps, you’ll be well on your way to aligning your hiring practices with the EEOC’s new harassment guidance. Not only will you mitigate legal risks, but you’ll also create a more inclusive and attractive workplace culture that draws top talent to your organization.

If you want to learn more about the EEOC’s new guidance and how to implement these strategies in your organization, check out the full episode with Jennifer Laurie.

Do you have any follow-up questions? Let me know in the comments. I’ll answer them in a future podcast episode.

Talk to you next week!


Sponsored by: Equity Activations

Equity Activations logo

Equity Activations partners with companies who are ready to strengthen the health of their business now and for the future by working to embed diversity, equity, and inclusion into their operations for actionable results.

Learn More


Table of Contents

Subscribe to the Newsletter

A weekly newsletter on how to approach talent acquisition in a more strategic way.

    Rhona Pierce

    Become a more strategic recruiter

    Every week I’ll send you 1 actionable tip you can implement to become a Strategic Talent Partner.

      DISCLAIMER: Links included on this page might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you!

      Become a Strategic Talent Partner

      Subscribe To My Weekly Newsletter

      Honest insights and actionable advice for leaders looking to hire qualified talent.