Protecting Your Company When You Hire a New Employee

When you hire a new employee you don’t just take on a new person, you take on the new risks that come with them. Preparing yourself for these issues before they come up can be the difference between failure and success. Here are some things you should do to protect your company when hiring:

Smaller Businesses That Are Expanding Need To Prepare 

If you have not hired before you have some real work to do to prepare yourself. Make sure you have a Federal Employer Identification Number. Set yourself up for payroll taxes, workman’s comp insurance, Unemployment and disability insurance, and EEOE protections before you interview. Businesses also have reporting and record keeping obligations. Make sure you have your tax withholding and records system in place, you are ready to verify work eligibility and citizenship or immigration status, and you know how to file reporting on new hires with state agencies.

Get Real About Pre-Employment Screening

Run background checks: drug screens, criminal background checks, credit checks, employment and education verification. Drug screens don’t just keep out drug users; they keep out all the baggage they bring with them, things like higher accident rates, higher missed time rates, higher medical problem rates, and risks from their associates.

You will occasionally hear the news about high-profile hires with fake resumes. Call schools and former employers to be sure of what you are getting. Also, as Martin E. Davis points out in Entrepreneur, “some of the biggest names in the industry (and in our federal government) have been embezzlers, involved in bankruptcies, accused of sexual misconduct and harassment, felons, and convicted of lesser crimes.” Always check; always verify.

Know The Law Before You Interview and Make an Offer

You need to know which questions you can and cannot ask during an interview and make sure every member of your staff who participates in the interview process is aware of these restrictions.

Topics like religion, sexual preference, age, disabilities, race, ancestry, pregnancy, marital status, children and prior arrests cannot be raised in interviews.

Find out whether an employee has signed a do not compete or other restrictive contract and how this can be enforced in your state before making an offer. Jason Tremblay of Inside Counsel advises that “the company should prepare, and the new employee should sign, an agreement representing that he or she is not a party to any agreements or other obligations restricting his or her ability to work with the company. “

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