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  • Hiring and Selection

    Your employees are your shop's most valuable asset. That's why careful evaluation in the interviewing and selection process is key to your shop's success. Not only will a good screening process help you choose the best candidate, but it can also decrease your vulnerability to exposures arising from the employer-employee relationship, such as employment discrimination, wrongful termination or sexual harassment.

    Hiring the right person requires thorough investigative skills, good judgment and considerable time. Avoiding discrimination claims is also important. The following steps can help you choose the best candidate for the job.

    Create a Job Description

    Before you begin recruiting or advertising for a vacant position, create a job description to clearly establish the following:

    • Essential functions of the position;
    • Specific knowledge, skills and abilities needed to effectively perform the job;
    • Required education and work experience;
    • Personal characteristics needed to succeed, such as an outgoing personality or attention to detail.

    Develop an Interview Guide

    Write an interview guide that will help you hold a structured and fair interview. The guide should consist of the following sections:

    • A list of the skills to be assessed in the interview;
    • Questions associated with each required skill;
    • A scoring guide for each question;
    • Enough white space for note-taking.

    Carefully Review All Applications and Resumes

    When reviewing an applicant's information, use the job description you developed for the open position to determine if the applicant has the necessary qualifications and abilities to handle the job.

    Interview the Most Qualified Applicants

    Interviewing is an important step in the selection process. It can help in identifying candidates whose experience and skills support your company's goals. Use the interview guide to make sure the interview stays focused. For jobs requiring special skills (such as floral design), give a test to confirm the abilities the applicant claims.

    Take Notes

    You should take notes throughout (or immediately after) the interview. Your observations will help you identify the best candidate for the position. Always be professional because your notes could be subject to a third-party investigation or subpoena in an employee-related lawsuit. The notes should describe facts and behaviors, not personality traits. For example, you should write "reported conflict with boss" instead of "applicant is confrontational."

    Perform Reference and Criminal Background Checks

    Prior to conducting any investigations, obtain written authorization to do so from the applicant. This can easily be incorporated into your employment application. Criminal background checks can provide valuable information about felony conviction records for the past seven years. Such background checks are allowable only to the extent they are job related, such as for positions that involve public contact or money handling.

    Also verify employment and education histories and check references. Past performance is one of the best indicators of future success.

    With a little extra effort during the hiring process, you can develop an effective workforce and reduce employment-related risks, such as discrimination lawsuits or employee theft, that could damage your business.



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