In today's marketplace employers are facing challenges when it comes to hiring and recruiting for open positions. Here are a few tips for human resource professionals looking to create a successful hiring and recruiting process.

Draft Accurate Job Descriptions

Make sure your job description reflects the essential job functions and duties the employee is expected to perform in his or her position. A few questions that should be answered in the job description include:

  • What is the goal or objective of the job?
  • What are the tasks or duties needed to accomplish that goal?
  • What are the essential (versus non-essential) functions of the job?
  • What training or experience is vital to discharging the duties of the job?

Providing a job description that properly outlines the job and its responsibilities will not only help with the interview process, but also provide potential candidates with a full understanding of the position when they apply.

Job Applications

It is important that you uniformly gather all the data needed in the job application. This information gathered serves not only to narrow the pool of applicants, but also to measure the applicant's' qualifications in a controlled and impartial way. Job applications are crucial to gathering information that might not be on a candidate's resume, such as gaps in employment history, whether there is any history of felony convictions, circumstances for leaving other employment, and names of persons who served as immediate supervisors in their prior employment.

The prospective employee should verify by a signature that all information provided on the job application is true and that the employer has the applicant's permission to check the validity of the data supplied. The applicant should also, by signing the job application, attest that he or she has read and understands specific policies of the employer, such as that the employer is an "at-will" employer.

Background Checks

If the job requires the handling of sensitive documents, financial records, monies or other receipts, a credit check is a prudent part of any pre-hire background check. Before proceeding with a background check, it is important to meet the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) which includes securing the employee's written consent before gaining access. If the applicant is not hired or promoted due in whole or in part upon the information in the credit report, a copy of the report must be provided to the applicant and the applicant must be told of his or her right to challenge the report under the FCRA.

Obtaining an applicant's criminal record has become the subject of litigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on the basis of racial discrimination. If a criminal record is needed for the position human resource professionals should seek the advice of counsel before proceeding.

Job Offer Letter

Once you have confirmed that the applicant is the best candidate for the position, a job offer letter, or correspondence (email is appropriate) should be sent to the individual. The letter should state the terms of employment including:

  • Job title or position
  • Salary (excluding any applicable bonus)
  • Payment schedule (which in Indiana generally must be every two weeks)
  • Date of hire
  • Identify job benefits

If there are any contingencies to continued employment such as annual or periodic drug testing, submission to background check, or obtaining licensures, those should be outlined in a sperate paragraph. The letter should make no promises of continued employment, bonuses, or raises if they cannot be guaranteed and are not tied to job performance. If the employment is at-will, this should be included in the offer letter.

Rejection Letter

As a matter of courtesy, job applicants who are not chosen for an interview or a position should receive a rejection letter. A suitable response would include the following:

  • Thanking them for their time and interest in the position as advertised;
  • Making them aware that others also applied for the position;
  • Making them aware that they were not chosen; and
  • Expressing best wishes to them in regard to their job search or related professional or business endeavors.

Making sure to send out a rejection letter in a timely manner is important. Although email is popular, sending a rejection letter by mail continues to be the most professional and courteous way of handling the matter. While the applicant might not fit a role within your organization now, they might in the future. Having a positive experience with your organization will encourage them to consider your organization when future positions become available.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.