Being in the position to hire a new employee speaks well of your company’s success. At the same time, however, the hiring process can expose a business to possible legal issues. Allegations of discrimination and unfair hiring decisions are the last thing your company needs. Before beginning the interview and hiring process, consider taking the steps listed below. Aeton Law Partners can help you with any business law issues facing your organization.
Why You Need Written Standards
Before posting a job opening, what is the nature of the job? What will be required of the person who fills it? Regardless of the nature of the job, or if it’s full-time, part-time, or seasonal, adopting written criteria is essential. These standards keep your company honest and transparent in the event the hiring decision is ever scrutinized.
The written criteria for the open position should include the following details:
- Official name or title of the position
- The geographical location of the position
- Pay (including bonuses) and benefits of the position
- All required job duties
- Any occasional duties the employee must perform
- Required education and experience of the employee
- Who, if anyone, the employee must report to
- Any performance criteria you will use to evaluate the employee
Depending on the position, you may need additional details. But the point of having such standards is that they make it harder to call hiring decisions into question. Of course, that requires sticking to the standards. If your company intentionally hires someone who isn’t qualified, you could be accused of impropriety.
Why you need written hiring procedures
A closely related set of rules you need are the procedures you use to make a hiring decision. For example, how many candidates will be considered for the job? How many stages of interviews will be conducted? How will the interviews be conducted? How long will the open position be advertised? These and other questions should be answered by a set of procedures.
Again, these procedures only work if they are followed. But if they are, your business may avoid someone asking questions like:
- Why wasn’t the position held open longer?
- Why weren’t more candidates interviewed?
- Why did I need to complete so many interviews?
All of these, and other questions, could invite unwanted legal attention. Contact our employment lawyers today!
Document everything related to the hiring process
The way to ensure that the hiring criteria and procedures are followed is to document everything. These are some examples of what to document during the hiring process:
- A copy of the job posting itself
- Which websites, newspapers, etc. in which the job was posted
- When the job was posted and when it was removed
- Why the job posting was removed (e.g. the position was filled or the posting expired)
- The identities of everyone who was interviewed, when, where, and by whom
- What was discussed with the job candidates during the interviews
- Whether there was any follow-up contact with the candidates
- Any notes concerning the actual hiring decision if the position was filled
Be sure to keep copies of resumes, emails, and other records in a secure but accessible location. The reason is simple: if the hiring decision is ever called into question, you want to be ready to defend it. If you can prove that all candidates were treated fairly and objectively, it’s less likely you will encounter legal problems.
Our firm can help your business adopt and revise existing job criteria and hiring procedures in light of the law. We can also advise on the state and federal rules that may impact your company’s hiring process. In the event your business is sued, we’re prepared to defend you in litigation.
The Legal Service Your Business Deserves
That’s the level of comprehensive legal representation that business clients have come to expect from Aeton Law Partners. Have questions about the hiring process or other aspects of business law? Reach out to our team today.