I was interested to read the published response from Peter Whitbread in your 8 May edition regarding “Lip service won’t do: discrimination in construction” (24 April, page 52)

I would like to know: if he does not base his employment selection process entirely on merit, as he asserts, how does he protect his company from the legal implications of his actions in selecting his candidates?

I understand his point that fitting into a team is one of his criteria for selection but I would be interested to know whether this was assessed by use of psychometric evaluation, or gut instinct? Also whether his company invests in training in interview techniques to enable such assessments to take place? If not then his company, like many others, may be at risk of discriminating against many able candidates.

Research has shown that selection by interview only is a poor indicator of eventual success and the propensity of interviewers to select candidates most like themselves, while perhaps being understandable, often works to the detriment of the company’s long-term success. It is equally important to have diversity in a team to challenge and drive improvements in selecting candidates to ensure that indeed the best candidate succeeds.

Heather Northey, N:management