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There are many different techniques and strategies hiring managers like to employ during job interviews in order to single out the best candidates. And while more sophisticated methods do often help winnow down the talent pool, it’s also essential to keep in mind that the most important aspect of any hiring process is that it remains totally compliant from start to finish.

If you put the cart before the horse, it could mean lawsuits and liabilities down the road. So before developing the specific tests and interview questions you plan to use to evaluate job applicants, read and follow these keys to basic compliance:

Craft appropriate and accurate job descriptions

Before you accept a single application, you should think carefully about what job requirements are essential to the position. All job descriptions should be in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits companies from disqualifying a candidate because of their disability, provided they are able to perform the essential functions of the job with reasonable accommodation. Make sure the job description lists just the duties required by the position, distinguishing between essential and nonessential tasks. If the job requires any sort of manual labor, it is especially important to spell it out now.

It’s also important during this stage to define the role’s exemption status. If the job is misclassified, an employee who works unpaid overtime could later be entitled to back pay and other damages.

Conduct consistent and accessible interviews

The interview process must also be ADA-compliant, meaning any in-person interview should be held in a location that is wheelchair accessible, and the interviewer must refrain from asking any questions related to a candidate’s disability.

Hiring managers must be consistent in their practices to avoid any allegation of bias. That means not letting the friend you referred for a job skip the preliminary phone screening step every other applicant is required to take. Additionally, the questions asked of one candidate should be asked of every candidate, and care should be taken to avoid any inquiries that could be construed as discriminatory. Asking about a job applicant’s country of birth and citizenship status, or checking if their religious beliefs would necessitate a lot of time off, is strictly off limits.

Make objective selections

If you are being careful to stay completely compliant during the interview stage, but still keep ending up with a rather homogenous workforce, something may be wrong with your follow through. Train supervisors and hiring managers to take objective interview notes and make decisions that are removed from bias.

Remember to also keep it consistent as you finish up the hiring process. That means the background checks you conduct should be identical for each and every candidate, and you should eventually reach out with a templated offer letter that is the same for all new hires.

Takeaways

In order to stay compliant during the hiring process, employers should always remember to:

  1. Write job descriptions that accurately describe the duties involved and avoid potentially discriminatory language about preferred employee “types.”
  2. Conduct ADA-compliant interviews that avoid inappropriate questions and are the same for every applicant.
  3. Remain objective in your hiring decisions and continue treating all applicants the same, up to and including the offer letter.

To learn how integrated HR software can help employers remain consistent and organized in all of their human resources practices, schedule a free demo of JazzHR today.

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