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The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 10, 2014 • Issue 14:03:01

Hiring employees – Part 2

By Vicki M. Daughdrill
Small Business Resources LLC

If you have determined that you need a new employee, evaluated the position's needs and recruited potential candidates, you are now faced with a stack of resumes and ready to begin the interview process. If you haven't reached this stage yet, see "Hiring Employees – Part 1," The Green Sheet, Feb. 10, 2014, issue 14:02:01.

Having the right tools will speed the process. The gNeil Co. (http://gneil.hrdirect.com) provides a legally tested, generic set of employment forms for use by small businesses. It includes application, attendance tracker, termination report, interview evaluation, disciplinary action and most other forms your business needs for human resources activities.


You must thoroughly understand the legalities of interviewing and hiring employees to insure that you do not discriminate in ways prohibited by federal and state laws. Seek advice on laws pertaining to your particular state. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulates and enforces federal employment practices. Major federal laws that address discrimination in hiring are:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination.
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older.
  • Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, (ADA) as amended, prohibit employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state and local governments.
  • Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government.
  • Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employment discrimination based on genetic information about an applicant, employee or former employee.
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1991 provides monetary damages, among other things, in cases of intentional employment discrimination.

Screen applicants

With the proper legal guidelines at hand, focus on conducting the interviews, selecting the best candidate and submitting a hiring offer. Here are tips for applicant screening.

  • Create an initial screening document that lists the minimum necessary skills, experience and other qualifications you establish for your new employee. Use columns that detail "does not meet minimum criteria," "meets criteria," "exceeds criteria" and "notes."
  • Have someone else conduct the initial screening, and designate a resume number rather than a name to further eliminate potential discrimination.
  • Review each of the submitted resumes using your screening tool. Check marks will allow you to screen efficiently so you can easily determine who meets your preliminary criteria.
  • Match your screening tool with the resume and determine which candidates to interview.

Conduct interviews

Following is advice on the interviewing process:

  • If you have a large number of candidates, conducting initial telephone interviews provides additional screening, helps determine salary requirements and further refines the candidates for face-to-face interviews.
  • Do initial searches of public information such as Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, public records and a general Internet search of the candidate's name to see what information is available. Remember, the Internet is imperfect. Mistakes happen; "facts" get exaggerated.
  • Prepare questions based on what information you want to obtain from the candidate. Are there job specifics, sales goals or activities that are specific to the job you want filled?
  • Contact the prospective candidates by telephone or mail and schedule the interview.
  • When the candidate arrives, make the person comfortable, ask him or her to complete a job application and provide a written job description.
  • Conduct the interview. Ask short, specific questions. Allow the candidate to do most of the talking without straying too far off the subject. Ask "how much," "how many," "how long" and "when" type questions to get specifics. Ask open-ended questions such as, "tell me about …"
  • Complete an interview evaluation form. Do not make notes of a discriminatory nature, for example: looks fat, Asian, pregnant, old, etc.
  • Close the interview by asking if the applicant has questions, and provide your contact information.
  • If a second interview is necessary, follow similar steps with more involved questions about past performance and successes.

Make the offer

Now, take care of preliminaries and then extend a formal offer:

  • Ask for at least three professional references and check each carefully, making note of all information received, both positive and negative. If you are not fully satisfied with the information from the initial references, ask for additional names and contact information.
  • Conduct a thorough background check.
  • Consider drug screening. Remember, this applicant is representing your company during business hours, as well as after hours.
  • If you find any discrepancy in the information provided by the prospect, negative public records or failed drug tests, eliminate the candidate from further consideration.
  • If everything checks out cleanly, make a formal offer in writing of the position, including salary, location, hours, etc.
  • Contact all other applicants and notify them that the position has been filled.

Hiring an employee is challenging, exciting and rewarding; the impact on your business can be great. Just remember what Bill Gates said, "The key for us, number one, has always been hiring very smart people." Take the time necessary to select the best and the brightest to help your business continue to grow. end of article

Vicki M. Daughdrill is the Managing Member of Small Business Resources LLC, a management consulting company. E-mail her at vickid@netdoor.com or call her at 601-310-3594

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