The Legalities of The Hiring Process

One line of advice that is often trusted comes from your lawyer, right? Well, taking a lawyer’s advice on hiring could be beneficial to your organization as well. A recent article from authors Alan Lesnewich and David Strand offers a few facts you should know.

Some interview questions may be on the brink of risque, if mishandled. What steps should you take as a talent manager to make the right hire and avoid potential litigation?

While good employees are the key asset of any organization, a wrong new hire can harm a business, decrease productivity and negatively impact employee morale. Ignoring these realities would virtually guarantee a dysfunctional workplace and ensure litigation.

During the hiring process, there are a few pieces of legal advice to keep in mind. Setting clear job descriptions and screening candidates appropriately is the first key. Very clear job descriptions can eliminate unnecessary candidates from applying and wasting time. Collecting, storing and reviewing applications is pertinent so that no ‘illegal’ questions can be asked.

If a criminal background check is being used as part of the process, managers should make sure thy are aware of and follow  the applicable laws, which can vary from state to state.

A few other legal tips are to use appropriate interviewing tactics and remember what’s off limits. Ask questions that refer strictly to the job at hand. Questions about date of birth, church activities, health conditions, or disabilities are off limits.

As a talent manager, trust your gut about hiring a new employee but never settle for an applicant who doesn’t fit your company’s culture. After the decision has been made to hire and applicant, talent managers should put together a detailed offer letter that defines the terms and conditions of employment. From a legal standpoint, be sure the applicant signs and dates the offer letter. To read more about what legalities you should consider during the hiring process, click here to view the full article.

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