Fiorenze on HR management
Unfortunately, it is a jungle out there. Remember that the entire process of job selection, including recruiting procedures, application forms, job interviews, all of your notes, records, e-mails and voice-mails, are part of a highly regulated legal environment. Every job applicant is a potential plaintiff and everything that takes place during the hiring process is potential evidence.
Too often, a business’ own records are used against it by a plaintiff’s attorney to prove that a job applicant was rejected, not because of job-related qualifications, but for an impermissible reason (e.g., race, religion, disability, age, etc.). No one should recruit, interview or screen job applicants without a basic understanding of the legal environment impacting hiring decisions.
Know the Rules
Fight the urge to give up on the task of dealing with the complex legal compliance aspects of human resource management. Employment law has become tremendously complex over the past 15 years or so, and managers often conclude that there is no point in trying to master the nuances that turn a permissible, operational decision into prohibited employment discrimination. And so, the tendency is to not bother. This approach, unfortunately, can turn your business into a law firm’s client.
The solution is not to turn your managers into employment lawyers—there are enough of us around already. Rather, the key is to institute user-friendly procedures that coach managers through the interview process, teach them how to avoid employment discrimination, and leave behind the type of documentation—also known as future evidence—that will help you defeat employment discrimination claims.
Employees thrive in workplaces characterized by fairness, consistency, reasoned decision making and a well-thought-out management scheme. Employees who join a workforce after experiencing a well-managed hiring process are likely to begin work with a positive outlook and a motivation to succeed.
Coupled with effective management in each aspect of the employment life cycle, a fine-tuned hiring process can be the first step toward creating a management strategy for truly capitalizing on workplace talent. zz