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How to avoid common mistakes when hiring new employees

Are you in need of additional workers, whether for the holidays or from turnover? No matter the reason, there are some things you need to know before you start posting jobs online.

Hiring the right person for the position can not only prove challenging, but also legally risky. Avoid making a costly mistake by following these tips.

Widen the pool of applicants

One of the most common mistakes in hiring practices is limiting whom you consider and interview. This hurts your business in two ways. First, if you have a certain image in mind of the ideal applicant, this prevents you from finding the right talent and having many excellent options to choose from. Broadening your scope ensures you truly find the best person for the job.

Second, you put yourself at risk for discrimination lawsuits. Your industry may have a predominant demographic, but that does not mean you should stick with just those people. Consider all races, ages, genders and backgrounds, and then base your decision on qualifications and fit.

Ask only relevant and respectful questions

Did you know you can face a discrimination lawsuit from just a bad interview? There are certain questions you cannot ask potential employees, such as:

  • Do you plan on having children?
  • What country are you from?
  • How old are you?

If the person must meet certain requirements, you can ask about those specifically. For example, you can ask about weekend availability without needing to know what the person's religion is, or you can ask if the interviewee is able to perform job duties without inquiring about the nature of a disability.

Have clear policies in place

An important legal protection for your business is your policies and procedures handbook. Make sure those who take care of hiring are familiar with and follow it to avoid misclassifying employees, which is another common reason for lawsuits. Likewise, make sure new employees read and agree to your company's policies before starting work.

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