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The Five Essential Hiring Practices

Recruiting and hiring are often done in haste, leaving the
company to repent in the long run. Today, there's a reason
to be concerned about negligent hiring. Negligent hiring
means you and your company can be sued if one of your hires
injures other employees, especially if you could have
foreseen a problem but did not do a thorough check of the
new employee before hiring.

The following list of five essential hiring practices
establishes the minimum you should follow:

1. Require outside testing. Allow a competent, impartial
professional interviewer to administer both paper and pencil
and verbal tests. Professional testing firms can administer
valid psychological tests for intelligence, stability, even
determinations of addictive or dishonest personalities, as
well as skills tests of important technical abilities in
your workforce. I find testing often validates a suspicion I
already had but wasn't yet ready to come to terms with.

2. Conduct a rigorous personal interview. This includes
asking general attitude questions, how you would manage your
boss questions, how you would manage your staff questions,
questions relating to the applicant's understanding of the
financial workings of a business and your department's role
in the business's overall success, questions relating to the
applicant's ability to set goals and his or her expectations
about achieving goals, questions relating to specific skills
required for the job, and general communications required by
the job.

3. Arrange a peer group interview. This part of the process
encourages applicants to speak more freely and helps
determine how comfortable they will be in working with their
peers. Follow up with a meeting of everyone involved in the
hiring decision to determine if there is a group consensus
about the applicant's suitability for work at your company.

4. Do a background check. Don't neglect this, even if it
is an employee's cousin or your competitor's best
salesperson. It's very easy to set up an account with an
investigative firm online and to relatively quickly and
inexpensively find out if the applicant has a criminal
record or a history of DMV problems, lawsuits involving
previous employers, workers' compensation claims, and so

5. Do a reference check. You can conduct these over the
phone, but they may involve a request in writing. Reference
checking is less effective than it used to be, although you
may still find a few people who are willing to talk. Most
former employers play it safe and verify only dates of
employment and salary.

Document that you took all of these steps and you've gone a
long way toward protecting yourself against a charge or
negligent hiring. And more importantly, you've taken the
first steps toward finding an employee who can trust and
with whom you can establish a successful employment

Jan B. King is the former President & CEO of Merritt
Publishing, a top 50 woman-owned and run business in Los
Angeles and the author of Business Plans to Game Plans: A
Practical System for Turning Strategies into Action (John
Wiley & Sons, 2004). She has helped hundreds of businesses
with her book and her ebooks, The Do-It-Yourself Business
Plan Workbook, and The Do-It-Yourself Game Plan Workbook.
See for more information.

This article was submitted by - Jan B. King Please Rate/Review this Article - Recommend it to friends

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