The employment landscape is rapidly changing. New laws and regulations are constantly being enacted which impact the norms associated with hiring and firing employees. It’s crucial that you remain compliant with all current laws regarding hiring and firing practices to avoid the risk of lawsuits and government agency enforcement.
While it’s always best to work with a dedicated HR consultant who can guide you through the hiring and firing process, we recognize that not every small business has the resources to work with these third-party professionals. If you handle all hiring and firing decisions in-house, the following tips will help you manage these tasks properly.
Hiring new employees represents an exciting time for your business. It is usually associated with growth opportunities that will move your company forward. It also represents one of the most important tasks associated with running your business. When you hire the right person, you’ll set your company up for long term success. On the other hand, making a poor hiring decision can create a significant setback for your business.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the average cost of hiring an employee is $4,000. This is a fairly large expenditure of resources, making it crucial that you properly vet all potential candidates to ensure you choose the right person.
It’s crucial that you understand all state and federal laws governing hiring practices in your place of business. This will help you avoid any potential lawsuits associated with illegal hiring practices.
Most states have made it illegal to ask applicants questions about certain personal information such as religious affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, or ethnicity. Make sure you’re aware of what you can and can’t ask on job applications to avoid being accused of discriminatory hiring practices.
In addition, some states have enacted other laws governing the hiring process. For example, Colorado’s new Equal Pay Act has established certain parameters regarding what information must be disclosed on a job posting and which internal employees must be notified of specific job opportunities. Failure to adhere to the terms of these laws can make you vulnerable to costly legal issues.
While it’s important to carefully vet the candidates for your position, you can take significant strides towards attresacting the right candidates by crafting a clear, thoughtful job posting that makes it easy to understand what is expected from someone who holds this position. Your job posting should clearly explain what skills are necessary and what the daily job responsibilities entail so that applicants can more accurately determine whether they are a good fit before applying.
You’ll also need to review the laws discussed in the step above when you’re creating your job posting to make sure you’re in compliance with all anti-discrimination laws. If you’re uncertain about whether you’re in compliance, you should consult a third-party HR consultant.
One final item to consider when creating your job posting is what type of employment is required of this position. Are you looking for a full time or part time employee? Does the employee need to work in-house or is remote work a possibility? If remote work is allowed, it will open up the potential applicant pool since you can hire talent from anywhere in the country. If the job is short-term, would you be better off listing it as a contract position? But be sure to review your state’s independent contractor rules so that you do not run afoul of these and end up in legal trouble.
Thinking through these decisions will increase the likelihood that you’ll attract the right candidates for the position.
While you can identify which candidates possess the proper skill set from their resume and cover letter, the interview process is crucial to determining which candidate is the right fit for your business. An employee’s skill set is only one component that must be evaluated during the hiring process. You also want to make sure the person you hire will mesh with your company’s culture and values.
Keep in mind that it’s ok if the candidate you choose doesn’t possess the exact skill set you’re looking for. In many instances, you can help the right employee develop specific skills necessary to perform the job as part of the training process. However, it’s much harder to teach a person intangible traits such as temperament, work ethic, coachability, problem solving skills, and the ability to collaborate well with coworkers. Often, these traits will be greater indicators of future success than the specific skills a candidate possesses, so make sure your interview questions help you gain a clear understanding as to whether this person has the traits your company values.
Once you think you’ve found the right candidate, you should take the time to conduct a thorough background check, including speaking with several references from previous jobs. However, make sure you take the necessary steps to ensure this background check is conducted legally and ethically:
It’s important that you set your new employee up for success. The best way to do this is to create a detailed onboarding plan that outlines everything associated with the training process, including which employees will be involved in providing this training. Your onboarding plan should set a timeline for when specific items should be accomplished as well as for when the new employee is expected to be able to perform each aspect of the job without supervision.
You should also establish a review process to regularly assess the employee’s performance. Make sure you clearly communicate to the new employee when these reviews will take place and how the process will work.
Ideally, you’ll refine your hiring process to the point where you choose the right candidate every time. Unfortunately, this rarely happens. There are going to be times when you need to part ways with an employee. There may be several reasons for this:
If you decide that you need to fire an employee, it’s important that you take the steps to do this legally in order to avoid a potential lawsuit or negative government agency action:
Firing an employee is always an uncomfortable situation fraught with tense emotions. However, there are certain steps you can take to make this difficult moment go as smoothly as possible:
After firing an employee, it’s important to take steps to prevent this person from retaliating in a moment of anger:
The process of hiring and firing employees can have far-reaching implications on the ongoing success of your business. It’s crucial that you handle these tasks properly to prevent unwanted lawsuits and ensure you have the right team to move your company forward. Premier Employer Services can guide you through these processes to ensure they are handled properly.
As one of Colorado’s leading HR consulting firms, we understand the specific laws that govern the hiring and firing of employees, and we can help ensure you remain in compliance with these regulations. In addition, our team can help you navigate the hiring process to increase the likelihood that you select the best candidate for the position.
Our unique Elevated Engagement Plus Approach™ has been created with your specific needs in mind. As part of this approach, we’ll listen carefully to understand the specific needs and goals of your business. We’ll then work with you to establish a hiring practice that aligns with your company’s culture and values, while adhering to all state and federal regulations. The stakes associated with hiring and firing employees is very high. When you work with Premier Employer Services, you’ll have peace of mind that these tasks will be handled properly.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We serve clients in Denver and throughout Colorado.
Ready to reach your goals faster? Schedule a free consultation.Get Started