Have you ever felt like there is no safe question to ask a candidate? Discrimination regulations have been broadening, and are becoming extremely restrictive to hiring managers. It is more important now than ever to have a solid plan in place to find new employees and protect your business.
Here are some best practices we have found, that will protect your company and give you the best opportunity to hire the right people.
Use an applicant tracking system to ensure you have record of every application. Many companies simply rely on emails or calls. Your first and best defense of your hiring practices is the ability to show the complete routing of an application including any emails, phone conversations, notes, and in person meetings. This will help you find better candidates by ensuring no one slips through the cracks and allows you to easily find candidates to recontact if a position reopens.
Conduct a basic phone interview with as many applicants as possible. The basis for most discrimination suits is wide spread cherry picking of candidates. Excluding entire groups, and not giving them a fair opportunity to compete for a position. Everyone tends to gravitate to people most like themselves, so if a single person is doing all the resume screening for your company the odds are high that they are going to become biased and fall into a rut of always selecting the same type of candidate. This happens subconsciously. By giving short phone interviews to the majority of candidates your company is protected from any accusation of bias. There is an added benefit of occasionally finding candidates that are actually much better than their resume suggests. You will open up a new opportunity to hire that was previously written off.
Do not have applicants complete a full application or request for background until you have fully interviewed them and want to move forward. Your company has a number of obligations and vulnerabilities as soon as a complete application and background request is complete. Full applications have to be stored and accessible for 2 years after the application date, credit or background requests for as much as 5 years. There are no requirements for storing resumes and applications through job boards. If you run a background or credit check, prior to the end of the hiring process, you are liable for discrimination. It becomes your duty to prove that the criminal offense or credit report have a direct bearing on the person’s ability to perform the position. There is no need to open your company up to that kind of exposure for a candidate you aren’t definitely planning to hire. Holding off on running background information also allows your interviewer to make a decision on a candidate based on their performance during the interview, instead of being clouded by background information.
Notify candidates when a job is closed or narrowed to other candidates. Applicants become disgruntled when they do not know where they stand in the recruiting process. When applicants are upset they start to try and find reasons why they are not being communicated to, and they can very easily lean towards discrimination. A simple solution is to stop this cold by notifying everyone that applied to a job that you have narrowed to another candidate. This is not a replacement for an averse action notice, that you have to send to any applicant that has had a background check used in deciding their candidacy. This is a simple preemptive measure, that will keep applicants from over analyzing why they aren’t hearing anything.
Best of luck finding your next best hire, and let us know if we can help. We are always here for you.