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3 Major hiring mistakes

It’s exciting — and time-consuming — to prepare to bring a new member of the team on board. You’ve got to clear a budget, establish the role, acquire contract paperwork, determine a reporting structure, clear extra workspace and more!!

But, in the midst of preparing applications and conducting interviews, make sure to avoid these three major hiring mistakes that could seriously harm your business.

Inquiring about an applicant’s criminal record

With unemployment reaching its lowest rate in almost 20 years, businesses are finding themselves short on extra help. One way New York is tapping into larger pools for employment potential is by employing more ex-cons. New York’s “ban-the-box" law prohibits employers from asking an applicant about their criminal history before making a conditional offer. The law went into effect about a year ago and has since issued hefty fines to violating employers.

Whether your drafting the application or conducting an interview, be sure to leave any questions related to the candidate’s criminal background out. This issue may be visited after a conditional offer has been made.

Asking about previous salary and benefits

Around the same time the ban-the-box law went into effect, so did a law requiring public and private employers to abstain from inquiring applicants about their salary history in advertisements, applications and interviews.

This initiative was meant to offer applicants a more fair chance at receiving an appropriate pay based on their experiences and skills, rather than their previous salary. Violating the salary history law may require your business to pay damage liabilities.

Conducting interview questions in a discriminative manner

It is a federal crime for an employer to discriminate a person based on their race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability or genetics.

Interviewers, however, have been known to fall naive to their prejudices during interviews. One way to avoid discrimination while interviewing is to stick to a script. While this may come off as impersonal, it could help interviewers avoid asking a young woman, “Are you planning on having children soon?”

The best way to avoid hiring mistakes is to consult with an experience employment law attorney. A lawyer can help ensure that you meet all legal requirements, establish necessary paperwork and avoid making hiring mistakes that could cost your business reputation, a good employee and costly fines.

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