As a small business, it’s crucial to have the right employees at your company. Why? When you have a smaller staff, it becomes very obvious if you have any workers who are unproductive or just all-around bad eggs. In larger organizations, it’s much easier to hide or not notice these less-than-ideal workers when you’re dealing with large numbers of employees.
With this in mind, it’s pretty clear how important the hiring process is for small businesses. But before you go crazy posting all of your company’s open positions – pump the brakes. Before you dive into hiring new employees, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re above board and follow laws regarding discrimination and compliance with various regulations.
It’s a big deal if you don’t follow the rules laid out by the federal government. You could be the target of an investigation or even a defendant in a discrimination lawsuit.
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Make sure a variety of applicants see your job openings.
To avoid the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) knocking on your office door, the first step is encouraging a wide applicant pool to see and apply to your open position. Post to as many places as you possibly can and maybe even consider out-of-state applicants if they show real promise.
Below, we’ve listed out all of the steps you should take for posting jobs, interviewing, hiring, and on boarding to stay compliant.
Looking for applicants.
- Make sure that all of the job descriptions you post on job sites are ADA compliant. The American Disabilities Act is a series of legal protections for disabled Americans which bars companies from discriminating against them.
- Interview questions must also follow ADA rules – managers are not allowed to ask disability-related questions. If someone with a disability is coming into an interview, the location must be accessible to people with a variety of disabilities including those in wheelchairs.
- It’s important to follow Federal Law with your interview questions. Avoid questions about an applicant’s gender, race, color, age, etc. or you risk being held legally liable for a hiring decision that may be influenced by those characteristics.
- Confirm the interview questions beforehand with your HR team to make sure all interview questions are compliant. Don’t go on an outside tangent while interviewing.
- Verify that you have written consent for a FCRA compliant background check. A credit check is fair grounds as criteria for whether or not to hire someone. Laws surrounding a background and credit check vary state by state, so make sure your company’s legal team knows your own state’s specific regulations surrounding it.
- If a drug test is required, get written authorization to perform the test.
Offering the job and hiring.
- Make sure that the job offer says the employment is at-will. This simply means that the employee works without a contract for a certain, specified amount of time.
- When you send a job offer letter, outline exactly what the new hire is offered including the pay, benefits, etc.
- After a new employee signs on the dotted line, you have three days to complete Forms I-9 from their first day of work which shows that your new hire is allowed to work in the United States.
- Double check that all the tax and legal forms are filled out. In most cases, this means a W-4. In addition, double check with your HR department that all necessary forms are filled out. A new hire should have a one-on-one meeting to explain the process of benefits, how to ask for time off, how to see their paychecks online, and other relevant information.
- When the new hire comes in for the first day of work, explain your expectations to him or her and introduce them to the culture, their new coworkers, and show them around.
- If you’re a new hire’s manager, make sure to check in regularly with the newbie — especially when they’re just starting out.
Although hiring a new employee can be an incredibly stressful process, you can easily stay compliant with federal and state laws by using this article as a guide. Soon, you’ll be on your way to building a happy, successful company with employees who feel respected and valued.