Unemployment rates are falling, and for some employers that means higher turnover and increased difficulty finding qualified workers.
It’s clear why it might be tempting to skip steps during the hiring process or lower standards for new employees. While this might solve a problem temporarily, hiring the wrong person could create a bigger, long-term problem costing your business valuable time and money.
Follow these procedures to help ensure your new hires turn into great employees:
- Check their background. Call references. Verify their educational degrees. Conduct a nationwide criminal background check. Prevent post-hire surprises.
- Confirm they’re physically able to perform the job. Explain the requirements of the position thoroughly and find out whether the job candidate is capable of fulfilling them. Especially for physically demanding jobs, conduct a pre-employment physical examination. State and federal rules govern pre-employment physicals, so consult your legal counsel before implementing.
- Conduct a drug and alcohol test. Drug and alcohol use on the job can lead to safety risks. That’s why it makes sense to require applicants to submit to testing before hire. State laws set forth rules employers must follow before requiring drug and alcohol tests of applicants, so be sure to consult your legal counsel.
- Ensure they’re legally eligible to work in the U.S. Use E-Verify, a website provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to ensure that employees are legally eligible to work in the United States. If an undocumented worker is injured while employed by you, you may have to pay workers’ compensation benefits even if the worker is not allowed to return to work in the United States. This can make wage-loss benefits costly.
- Provide safety training right away. Statistically, new employees are significantly more likely to be injured than those on the job for more than one year, so it’s important that safety training take place on Day One, even if employees are only seasonal or short-term. If a short-term employee is injured while under your employ, you will still have the same obligations as far as paying for medical treatment and lost wages. Take the opportunity to retrain your current employees on safety, too.
While tests and background checks aren’t free, the costs could be small compared with those of a serious injury or contentious claim.
This is not intended to serve as legal advice for individual fact-specific legal cases or as a legal basis for your employment practices.