Before You Hire: Make Sure You Keep it Legal
The individuals you hire to fill positions at your company make a big difference in your business’s success. Your team workers are the face and lifeblood of your organization, so it’s imperative to hire the people who can do the job as well as represent your company in a positive manner. Before you hire, think strategically about attracting the right employees, and during your interviews, make sure you are staying within the letter of the law to avoid discriminatory hiring practices.
Define the Job
Before you hire, you need to define the job you’re trying to fill. What exactly are you looking for in an employee It’s important to be clear about all tasks that need to be performed, the level of education you’d like an ideal worker to have, how much and what type of experience is preferable, and which skills/abilities are necessary. Once you have drawn up your list of job requirements, it’s essential that you write them up in a clear and legal manner. For example:
-List job responsibilities with general to specific language.
-State qualifications in an objective way, such as: ïMust have state teaching license,ï or ïMust type 60 word per minute.ï
-Indicate that you are an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).
-State that the job posting is not a guarantee of employment.
-Edit out any biased language showing preference for a specific race, age, religion, or gender. While using phrasing such as ïyoung, hip team playerï may seem harmless, it is actually discriminatory and illegal. Stick to neutral descriptions, such as ïenthusiastic team player.ï
Check Your Application
If you haven’t had a lawyer or human resources professional check over your company’s job application in a year or so, now is the time to do so. Laws change and you want to make sure your employment paperwork is current with EOE regulations. You don’t want to request inappropriate information or fail to gain important permissions. Some things to think about regarding your application form are:
-It is illegal in some states to inquire about a candidate’s prior arrest record, so check this out before including the question on your application.
-If your company is a federal contractor, be sure OFCCP practices are followed.
-Ask for signed permissions if you plan to perform background checks.
-Note on the application that you are an Equal Opportunity Employer.
-Make sure all language is neutral regarding race, gender, age, and religion.
Before you hire, you must make sure your job application is legal and current.
Ask the Right Questions
During an interview, you will want to get to know job applicants and one of the best ways to do so is through questions and answers. Remember, however, that some questions are illegal and could get you in big trouble if you inadvertently ask them. You may be curious about a young job applicant’s children and what his or her childcare arrangements are, but this is a discriminatory inquiry that cannot be legally asked. Before you hire, it is wise to make a list of topics you may not broach during the interview, such as:
-Whether a person has children
-Country of origin
The best way to stay away from illegal subjects is to stick to job-related questions and conversation. Asking open-ended questions is a good way to gather information about an applicant without intruding into his or her privacy.
Tell the Truth
It’s also crucial that you represent the job and company in a forthright manner. Don’t make promises you can’t keep or sugarcoat the company to draw new team members into the fold. Job applicants deserve to know the truth, and if your assurances are deemed dishonest, you could expose your organization to liability. Come to each interview armed with a list of statements to avoid making, such as:
-Predictions for business’s future financial success
-Excessive commentary about job stability
-Promises about promotions
-Misrepresentations or omissions about career positions
While you may be tempted to sell your company’s pluses to applicants you’d love to hire, it’s important to sidestep anything that sounds like a promise. Words spoken before you hire someone can be construed as false pretense or an oral contract.
Hiring the right person is a major endeavor that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s crucial to attract workers from a pool of diverse applicants, and it’s imperative to move through the recruitment and hiring process legally. To learn more about improving your company by making all-star hires, take a look at the articles and resources on Mighty Recruiter.