Labor Law: Hiring Checklist

2006 ended with one of my small business clients running into a flury of employee problems. Employees on drugs, allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace and theft to name a few. One of his employees was brazen enough to use the business gas card to fill the tanks of ten personal vehicles. I guess the guy thought it was some type of "friends and family plan." The business caught him because his purchases maxxed out the credit limit of the card and because he purchased the gas at 11:00 at night when all of the company vehicles were tucked safely in the company parking lot.

It is my opinion that the employee problems the company has run into is largely a result of its hiring practices. It seems my client is still trying to run his 10 employee business the same way he ran the business when he had only one employee.

In addition to assisting him with putting together an official Employee Handbook, Confidentiality Agreement and Non-Compete Agreement I suggested he consider the following checklist when hiring employees:

Employee Hiring Checklist

1) Draft a written job description for the position you want to fill;

2) Let current employees review the job description and make suggestions on possible alterations;

3) Screen applicants by requiring them to provide a resume with references;

4) Write down interview questions, interview applicants and evaluate the effectiveness of the questions after interviewing each applicant;

5) Put together an applicant appraisal form and complete the form after each interview;

6) Call references (employers, schools, etc.);

7) Perform background checks (DMV, credit, criminal background, etc.);

8) Ask the applicant about any confidentiality agreements he or she may have signed with former employers.

9) Provide the applicant a written offer or written rejection letter;

10) Make all offers contingent upon successful completion of drug, skill, physical and psychological testing.

11) Write out the new employee's terms of employment and have the employee sign it prior to beginning work; and

12) Have the new employee review and sign your employee handbook, Confidentiality Agreement, Non-Compete Agreement and any other applicable agreements.

You may have other items you would add to this checklist. Feel free to copy this checklist and add to it as best suits the needs of your business.
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