HR Management & Compliance

Are You Training Supervisors on Recruiting Best Practices?

In today’s Advisor, we provide you with the beginning of a comprehensive training session on recruiting best practices.

Effective training can save your organization from dealing with all the grief that comes from hiring the wrong person. The following outline for a training meeting should assist you in getting your team on the right track for hiring the best candidate.
Supervisors are instrumental in the hiring of their immediate subordinates; they need a broad view of how the various components of the information-gathering, screening, and decision-making process work together for the best and most balanced choice. Details on setting job criteria and rating or other comparison systems depend on the nature of your company. This lesson plan provides general legal and organizational guidelines that are sound for any business operation.

Applicable Regulations

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Civil Rights Act of 1991, Civil Rights Act Title VII, Equal Pay Act, Executive Order 11246, Immigration Reform and Control Act, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), Older Workers Benefits Protection Act, Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Act of 1974

Typical Legal Problems

In addition to the usual caveats about avoiding discrimination in hiring, employers must also be careful about their uses of testing and reference checking. Employers can be charged with negligent hiring if they fail to make an adequate check, and with defamation or invasion of privacy if they make excessive or illegal checks. Tests must be uniformly administered, job-related and, in some cases, validated by experts.
Compliance tips: Apply all screening devices uniformly and objectively to all candidates. Also, make sure any inquiries about criminal or problem behavior meet legal standards.


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Training Objectives

Trainees will be able to:

  • Use résumés to screen job applicants and pursue lines of inquiry effectively.
  • Use the company application form to balance and supplement the information supplied by résumés.
  • Follow up on references legally and effectively.
  • Understand company policy on preemployment testing and the legal issues involved.
  • Collect all relevant hiring data for evaluation.

Training Exercise

As a warm-up, try the following brief discussion opener:
Larry says that when he makes a hiring decision, he believes the best way is to “go with his gut.”

  • Do you agree instincts are best? Why?
  • Do you disagree? Why?
  • Do the law and company policy permit you to take the intuitive approach alone?

Wrap up the discussion by saying that today’s training will go through the basic resources you have, including the “gut,” for deciding on who is the best candidate.

Best Practices for Using Résumés

A. Résumés are the “first line of defense.” So screen them twice.
First, screen for obvious facts that rule out a candidate, and don’t spend time reading any further. Ask:

  • Does the candidate meet basic requirements?
  • Does the candidate have proper degrees or certification? In the right state?
  • Is the school or institution properly accredited?
  • If salary expectations are indicated, are they beyond our limits? Or so low as to cause question?
  • Is the candidate in the right geographic area or planning to move?
  • If it’s an unsolicited résumé from an employment agency, is the company willing to pay the fee?

Screen again, looking for a potential match.

  • Evaluate credentials in terms of job duties and desired traits and attributes.
  • Consider the candidate’s stated job objective in the context of this opening.

B. Résumés are the basis for your information search.
Look for positive patterns of employment. Ask:

  • Where has the candidate worked and for how long?
  • Does work history suggest staying power? Lack of initiative?
  • Do changes of titles and positions reflect advancement and growth?
  • Are there any gaps in employment that are hard to explain?

Look at the presentation of the résumé itself as a way to evaluate the candidate. Analyze the:

  • Appearance: Is it clean, neat, and detailed?
  • Structure: Is it clear, well-organized, and logical?
  • Writing style: Does it demonstrate correct grammar and spelling?

Look for hints of personality traits and attributes from other information candidates include about interests and activities.


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C. Remember the limitations of résumés.
They can over- or undersell the candidate. They’re intended to present the jobseeker in the best possible light. (A good résumé doesn’t necessarily mean a good candidate.)

Best Practices for Using Application Forms

Make the following points about these hiring tools:

  • Application forms supplement information that may be missing from the résumé.
  • They’re uniform, making it easier to compare candidates.
  • Applications are more accurate and up to date.

Go over your organization’s application form and explain reasons for any items that aren’t self-evident. Ask if trainees have any questions about how to use the form and answer them with specific examples whenever possible.
In tomorrow’s Advisor, we’ll go over best practices for checking references, preemployment testing, and other company policies on hiring.