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‘Hiring and Staffing’ Category


Online Application vs Paper

My VP has asked me about our employment applications and why we do not have them in employees file, from my understanding online applications is acceptable and thus, do not need to be printed and placed in the employee file.

Is there ever a reason that employers should have candidates complete paper applications in addition to the online application or is the online application acceptable by itself? All candidates apply for our jobs though our ATS online.

Web-based applicant tracking systems (ATS) have gained in popularity in the last few years and will continue to do so. An ATS increases the efficiency of recruiting, records retention, and report submission. Employers are able to receive and easily review more resumes than the paper application process, decreasing the amount of time it takes to find qualified applicants. Gone are the days when a flood in the file room destroyed employee files. With an ATS, employers will always have access to applications as well as other information that an ATS can store. An ATS can track an applicant’s history with the company, specifically the number of positions applied to, interviewers, interview summary forms, background checks, and ultimately hire information. Also, an ATS can ensure prompt extraction of applicant and hiring data for reporting mandates.
Online applications are completely acceptable.

It’s not necessary, and extremely redundant, for an employer to require applicants to apply online and complete a paper application. The benefit of a paper application is solely the applicant’s signature which is what makes the application a legal document. Meaning, the employer has immediate cause for termination if it’s determined the applicant falsified information on the application. However, most ATS’ require an electronic signature from the applicant eliminating the need for a written one.

The online application should be printed and included in employee file. All information received during the hiring process such as applications, background checks, and interview summary forms should be placed in the employee file. This ensures that anyone reviewing the file while have access to necessary information and not have to wait/hope that there is someone available with access to the ATS in order to retrieve the needed information. Also, in most audits by governing agencies or during investigations, the employee’s application and other hiring information is often reviewed. Thus, it should be easily accessible in the file.

March 10th, 2014, 9:18 PM |  Posted in: Hiring and Staffing |
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Questions on Job Application

We are an EEO employer and have a statement to that effect at the top of our job applications. Can we legally ask a question about race on the application so that I can track applicants, and therefore, prove that we are meeting any EEOC compliance requirements? We already have a question regarding veteran status……….

I appreciate any assistance you can provide.

Pre-employment inquires, such as questions on job applications, are assumed to be used for the basis of hiring applicants. Thus, requesting applicants to disclose protected characteristics is generally not a good idea. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that requesting job applicants to disclose their race is acceptable as long as there is a legitimate business need for doing so. Valid reasons would include for affirmative action purposes, applicant tracking for EEO report submissions, measuring the validity of a selection procedure, or ensuring diverse applicant sourcing.

It’s recommended to separate the requests for demographic information from the information used to determine the applicant’s qualifications for the job. In doing so, employers may help prevent unlawful discrimination practices.

How an employer separates the information depends upon what type of application process is utilized. Employers who use traditional paper applications are better off attaching a separate form to the application requesting applicants’ demographic information. The form should include why the information is being requested. Many companies use web-based applicant tracking software which has the capability of requesting applicant demographic data completely separately from the application. Most applicant tracking software offers a standard applicant demographic information request or allows the employer to customize one.

February 16th, 2014, 11:18 AM |  Posted in: Hiring and Staffing |
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Job Application for Rehires

Do we have to have a job application for employees who are rehired during school breaks – Christmas, spring, and summer?

An employment application is an important part of the hiring process even when rehiring a previous employee. Employment applications whether in print or online give the employer a legally defensible listing of the applicant’s education, work history, credentials, and attestation to criminal convictions or similar inquiries, if permissible in your state. Requiring applications for rehires ensures the employer has up to date information on file. Additionally, if certain credentials or certifications are necessary for employment the employer has the obligation to ensure such items are up to date. By not mandating the applications an employer may be leaving itself open to unnecessary risk.

The level of risk assumed by not requiring rehires to complete applications depends on the industry. Let’s say a daycare center employs seasonal workers during the summer months. The company prefers to rehire the same workers each summer. The initial employment application requires the applicant to confirm he has a valid driver’s license and disclose his driving record since he will be responsible for transporting children on day trips. On the initial employment application the applicant stated he had a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record. Now, two summers later, assuming the employer doesn’t require rehires to complete new applications, the same employee has a vehicle accident with several daycare children injured in the collision. Upon investigation it’s discovered that the worker has been convicted of several motor vehicle violations including speeding and DWI. Additionally, his driver’s license is currently suspended. If the employer would’ve known this information prior to rehiring the individual appropriate measures could have been taken to avoid the unfortunate situation. The employer may have chosen not to rehire the employee or at least rehire the employee with the agreement that he is not allowed to transport children.

Another example is a retailer hiring seasonal employees. The retailer tends to rehire the same workers each season and requires each previous employee to complete a new employment application as well as go through the standard hiring process ie background check, drug screening etc… This season the retailer discovers that one of the normal rehires was fired from his last employer for stealing from the company and was convicted of shoplifting. Understandably so, the employer chooses not to rehire the worker.

It’s up to you to determine if taking a few extra steps to screen rehires would be beneficial to your company. Keep in mind that your due diligence can go a long way in avoiding potential risks for your company and staff.

December 17th, 2013, 1:01 PM |  Posted in: Hiring and Staffing, Human Resources Management |
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Employment Application

Can you ask on an employment application if the applicant has ever failed or refused to take a drug test?

The legal issue here is that by asking about an applicant’s former drug use, you may be getting into Americans with Disabilities (ADA) territory. The ADA protects former drug users who have been successfully rehabilitated. Current users are not protected, but this information would theoretically be obtained via pre-hire drug testing.

Additionally, hiring and other employment decisions should be based on the applicant’s ability to perform the job. Whether or not an applicant used drugs in the past is not really relevant to his or her ability to perform a job now, so this line of questioning is inappropriate for the application and interview stage. If you wish to ascertain whether or not the applicant is currently using drugs, a pre-hire drug test would be the way to go.


Panel Interview Documentation

At my company we use a lot of panel interviews of 3-4 interviewers for our selection process. We know we need to document interviews with questions and candidate responses for each interview session that takes place, but with multiple members on a team is there any need to get notes from each individual interviewer, or just one set of notes for each interview?

The purpose of using several interviewers is presumably to obtain feedback from each. If you are going to use the feedback of each individual, it is recommended that you maintain documentation from each.
May 10th, 2012, 3:33 PM |  Posted in: Hiring and Staffing, Human Resources Management |
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