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Check yourself before you wreck yourself by creating an interview process

interview process

Hiring is already a pain. Creating an interview process to ensure you and your managers are always in compliance with laws can help ease the stress.

Some people believe rules are made to be broken, but those people never had to spend thousands of dollars in legal fees due to liability issues — and probably shouldn’t be in charge of hiring. You’d be surprised how often hiring managers violate an applicant’s legal rights without even knowing it. The best way to avoid any legal trouble when hiring is to create a strong, documented interview process — and here’s how to start!

Consult an HR professional 
The best first move is to talk with an HR professional. They can guide and explain certain legalities, answer questions and be a resource for you. If you have an HR department, let them know you want to create an interview process with guidelines to help managers during the interview process. If you’re an independent owner and have to do all the legal research yourself, you can save a little time by reaching out to an HR consulting company like our friends at HR Annie Consulting.

Standardized interview questions
Create a set of interview questions specific to all the roles you hire for, and have your managers ask these questions at every interview. If you’re in contact with an HR professional, have them look over the questions to ensure compliance. Standardizing your interview questions allows you to pre-determine the questions that are necessary to evaluate the skill level and qualifications of the applicant for the job — keeping that interview to the point. It will also give your managers a guideline, so they don’t get off track and ask a question that could potentially lead to a lawsuit.

Create an interview form
Create a standard interview form for your hiring managers to fill out with important information like: name of the hiring manager conducting the interview, the name of the applicant, date, job title, notes, and an overall summary of the interview — making sure to include anything that stood out. Create a specific place for your managers to file these documents, so they don’t get lost. Keeping a record of your interviews gives you and your managers something physical to evaluate, learn from, and in case of a lawsuit, demonstrate that the interview was complaint with the law.

Train hiring managers on your interview process
In order to have a strong interview process, everyone needs to be on the same page. This will require you to train all your hiring managers to follow the same process for every interview: ask the pre-evaluated questions, document the interview and file every document in the same place. Explain the importance of the process and why it’s in place, so everyone understands its value. As an owner or general manager, it’s important that you are reviewing every interview form after the interview to ensure your managers are following the process and to identify areas that need to be addressed.

Creating a solid interview process sets your managers up for success by preparing them with questions that will help them better evaluate applicants for the job and protect your business from unwanted lawsuits that hopefully won’t but might come up. With an interview process you’ll be one step ahead of the rest.

Ashley Lange

Ashley Lange likes to cook, loves to bake and is always day-dreaming of her next meal. Ashley has spent the last 10 years in various roles within the food industry and is currently a server in Portland, Oregon.

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