9 Hiring Policies to Adopt in 2016, for the Litigation Averse

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on December 04, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A new year is just around the corner, so it's time to start putting together your resolutions. Hit the gym, spend more time with family, read some good books, and learn a new language.

Oh, and start adopting corporate hiring policies that will help you attract talent and avoid litigation. Here are our suggestions for 2016.

Tips for Bringing in Top Talent

1. Know if you're being competitive. Don't just look at what you've paid employees in the past, keep abreast of what other companies in your field are offering in compensation, both in salary and perks. A little research into salary data and job trends can help make your offers more competitive.

2. Make it easy for talent to come to you. There's nothing worse than putting together a great resume only to be told that you must then input all that information into your company's own Applicant Tracking System. Many companies use ATS systems that seem designed to repel all but the most desperate candidates. Ask your IT team or ATS vendors what the abandonment rate is on your recruiting site -- you might be surprised by how high it is.

3. Consider headhunters. For important positions, don't wait for talent to come to you. Go out and find it. Use an in-house recruiting team or headhunters to search out the best possible employees and steal them away from the competition.

4. Be flexible with time off, moonlighting. Accommodating time off and moonlighting policies can be an important perk to job seekers. If you trust your employees with flexible time off, they're unlikely to abuse it. The same goes for moonlighting opportunities, where workers can develop valuable skills to bring to the company.

Tips for Avoiding Litigation

5. Drop the box. Nineteen states have imposed limits on what employers can ask about candidates' conviction records. Seven more have largely banned those questions altogether. Over 100 cities and counties have "ban the box" rules as well. Make sure you're staying on top of these employment law developments before asking about conviction history.

6. Be careful with employment gaps. Like criminal convictions, employment gaps can be a tricky topic when considering new employees. Some states have laws against "unemployment discrimination," which could be violated by turning away applicants with significant time away from work.

7. Review interview questioning. The new year is a great time to remind hiring managers about interview best practices. Interviewers should, of course, not ask extraneous questions about an applicant's age, race, disability, religion, or other issues that might indicate impermissible discrimination.

8. Check references and background. Want to avoid a negligent hiring suit when the company's employees do something wrong? Make sure you don't hire negligently. Background and reference checks should be standard practice.

9. Put it in writing. It's pretty easy, but not always done. When an offer has been made, put the terms in writing and make sure to emphasize that employment is at will.

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