Hiring & Firing

Exit Interviews Offer Multiple Advantages

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Most companies focus on interrogating applicants to hire the right talent. However, exit interviews can glean valuable information from resigning employees. National PEO’s workforce recruitingexitinterviews
experts can handle either or both. Fill out our online contact form to get your quote for these team-building services.

Business Gains

Decrease staff turnover: Understanding how workers view your employer brand can help you develop effective ways to diminish personnel turnover. Learning why employees leave and what your firm could have done differently to keep them can upgrade your long-term talent retention. Use such knowledge to avoid making similar mistakes with current and future recruits.

At times, departure interviews offer chances to retain valuable employees who would have left otherwise. Some organizations accept resignations too quickly without discussing or testing staffers’ determinations to leave. During the final employment step, separation meetings can become safety nets that convince key crewmembers to stay.

Inspire positive changes: Developing an exit interview consensus over time will help you comprehend your company’s major turnover reasons. Changing certain business practices may reduce your staff renewal rate. If most to all departures complain about inadequate vacations, for example, rethink your paid-time-off policy.

When patterns emerge but altering corresponding situations is impossible, using that information to modify your talent selection process can help decrease employee turnover. For instance, recent grads might not enjoy jobs focusing on routine bookkeeping duties that don’t utilize all their newly acquired occupational skills. On the other hand, experienced accountants closer to retirement could be happy in those positions. Whenever personnel leave for unfixable reasons, learning from them amounts to free yet valuable business consultations.

Reduce potential lawsuits and liability: Separation interviews allow discussions about company and employee obligations and rights after departures, indicating that your organization follows labor laws. They can stop former personnel from filing discrimination and harassment lawsuits. Besides covering customary issues like remaining vacation pay and COBRA, review copies of confidentiality, non-compete, and any other post-service agreements staffers signed. Addressing everything openly can prevent workers from involving attorneys in potential litigations.

Avoidance Reasons

Some small- to mid-sized companies find that administrator/workforce familiarity makes exit interviews too awkward. Vacating personnel may give guarded answers. Not wanting to alienate former employers, many resigning workers avoid being critical. Instead of revealing that their bosses were bullies, they attribute their departures to inoffensive reasons: New jobs offered higher compensations, greater benefits, and/or promotions with more responsibilities.

exitinterviews1Overcome employees’ reluctance about sharing honest opinions by asking why they began looking elsewhere instead of what made them quit. That may uncover your firm’s shortcomings. Maybe your training does not measure up to what big corporations can provide, so personnel never mastered their jobs. Alternatively, if work bored ambitious staffers, they might have sought more stimulating positions.

Supplementing in-person exit interviews with hard-copy or online follow-up surveys can boost results. In private, reserved employees may be more forthcoming with their true feelings.

Helpful Questions

Inquiries that encourage staffers to divulge their real departure reasons include:

  • How did things go for you here?
  • Can you offer any suggestions for improvement?
  • What could our company have done to stop you from resigning?
  • Where did we come up short, compared to other employers?
  • How will your new position satisfy your vocational goals?
  • What does your new employer provide that we did not?
  • May we contact you with future opportunities? For yes answers, add: Will you update us as your experience and skills expand?

Conversation Records

Witnesses or interviewers should take notes during exit meetings to document conversations. You can supply proof of questions and responses if court cases arise later. When employees file discrimination lawsuits after not mentioning that reason for quitting, for example, your notes may help your defense resolve, settle, or dismiss their claims.

Discovering staffers’ discrimination or harassment allegations or legal action plans during exit interviews provides opportunities to avoid them. Offering increased severances may derail potential lawsuits. Advance notice enables consulting attorneys early. Completing investigations of employees’ complaints before they file suits can demonstrate that they’re meritless.

Retaliation Prevention

Anytime exit interviews bring up negative responses, remain objective. Do not retaliate against good-faith complaints. To minimize hurt feelings, share departure discoveries with other team members tactfully. Former employees can sue angry supervisors or colleagues who damage their reputations by defaming them falsely. So advise your crew to be cautious about commenting on current and previous staffers within and outside of your workplace.

Why Employee Resignations Are Rising and How to Reduce Yours

by NPEO Media NPEO Media No Comments

employeeresignationsMore workers quit their jobs in December 2015 than in the previous nine years, according to a survey. Some 3.1 million people left their private sector and government positions voluntarily. Discovering why, establishing a clear promotion policy, and understanding the performance cycle can help you decrease your company’s turnover rates.

Employment Exit Reasons

Polled staffers quit previous jobs for these three chief reasons:

  1. Slim advancement chances
  2. Insufficient work/life balance
  3. Money

Researchers asked employees to rate job qualities as acceptable, somewhat acceptable, annoying, considerably annoying, or deal breakers. Four main annoyances were:

  1. Management has less industry awareness than surveyed subjects and staff.
  2. Company does not recognize good work.
  3. Colleagues receive promotions sooner than respondents.
  4. Employee benefits are subpar.

The five top deal breakers that would prompt resignations were:

  1. Supervisor does not empower or trust team members.
  2. Boss expects off-duty staffers to carry out work duties or reply to emails on sick and vacation days.
  3. Administrators shift the blame when mistakes occur.
  4. Inflexible work schedule does not accommodate family responsibilities.
  5. Co-worker relationships are difficult.

Internal Promotion Policy Guidelines

Personnel view advancement as desirable for upgrading power, compensation, and responsibilities. Better job designations raise staffer status, a clear sign of employer esteem for significant and successful work contributions. On the other hand, discord and high resignation rates can develop among peers when colleagues move up before them. Problems might mount if confusing promotion practices appear discriminatory.

Avoid those difficulties by establishing a transparent advancement policy and applying its standards consistently to all jobholders wanting to rise in your ranks. Policy essentials include:

Purpose: Base title upgrades on employees’ expertise and performance instead of favoritism. Otherwise, you may put some staffers in unsuitable positions they are not able to handle effectively. Litigation might arise if overlooked personnel claim that your selection procedures are discriminatory. Workers must demonstrate that you violated the Civil Rights Act’s Title VII, which prohibits businesses from denying promotions on various personal characteristics including age, gender, and race.

employeeresignations1Criteria: Set minimum advancement criteria. Inform employees what standards they must meet to merit consideration. For instance, your eligibility period for all promotion types could be continuous company service of two plus years. Or salespeople might need to reach specific quotas first. Motivate your team by moving qualified workers into higher-ranking positions before recruiting outsiders.

Job postings: Display all open positions around your workplace so all suitable candidates will be aware of available advancement opportunities. An expensive 2007 court case set a precedent so staffers can sue their employers if they do not post job opportunities internally.

Candidate assessments: Follow uniform evaluation methods for all workers to prevent the semblance of discrimination or favoritism. All hiring managers should examine performance appraisals, using them to choose top hopefuls. To review all applications consistently, judge all contenders on preset importance of key qualifications. For example, decide whether education or experience is most important. Document how you review each competitor in case policy bias questions arise. Note reasons for all employees’ reassignment acceptances or rejections in their personnel files.

Paperwork: Whenever you promote staffers, proper documentation is key. Download National PEO’s Employee Change Form under Human Resources Forms. Fill in all pertinent details, and keep records in your employment files.

Workforce Performance Cycle

Advancement: Everyone displaying high proficiencies or special talents deserves credit. The most appropriate acknowledgements are job reassignments, which include lateral transfers to equal-level positions and upward promotions. Moving personnel into greater leadership responsibilities temporarily or permanently encourages better performance. They will strive to demonstrate strong skills and worthiness of your trust. Crewmembers get to fulfill their desires to be valuable contributors while you meet your need to maintain a productive team.

Satisfaction: Although surveyed staffers’ deepest desires are to receive recognition, praise, and important status, 60 percent felt that their employers ignored them or took them for granted. Performance declined among bored, complacent, or unhappy personnel who lost interest in their work. Crewmembers resigned to find challenging roles, opportunities to use their talents, and job satisfaction. Advancement or acknowledgement can reduce such turnover.

Positive feedback: Communicating your daily achievement observations is crucial for your crew’s effective job performance. Congratulate staffers for handling difficult clients or commend them for exceptional special projects during regular team meetings. Compliments improve work, which might lead to more recognition, advancement opportunities, and long-term loyalty.

Are Employment Background Screenings Really Necessary?

by NPEO Media NPEO Media No Comments

An estimated 40 percent of resumes contain tweaked or falsified information. Researchers report that 86 percent of companies have discovered misrepresentations or lies on candidates’ resumes and job applications, and 72 percent credit background verifications with revealing issues they would not have found otherwise.

Such disillusioning statistics are prompting employers to order background checks more often today than in the past. Human resource (HR) findings show that 92 percent of organizations look over public and criminal records. Over 75 percent start by validating social security numbers and identities. Then they verify former jobs and/or contact references. Above 50 percent authenticate education and scrutinize motor vehicle records.

Legal Stipulations

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates employment-screening standards. Law requires your firm to obtain candidates’ consent before starting investigations. Confirming degrees and work histories helps hiring managers be certain that contenders have suitable credentials and experience. Background investigations may be mandatory for positions involving government security clearances. Credit reports may provide insights into applicants’ monetary dependability for related duties.

When National PEO conducts your company’s background checks, our certified results will protect you from costly HR issues like bad hires causing high turnover and lawsuits. Knowing what information you can uncover will convince you to embrace this practice for all recruits before onboarding them.

Social Security Numbers

All states allow employers to ask candidates to provide their social security numbers. Some require company safeguards like online encryption to protect job seekers’ privacy. Laws do not mandate compliance except for government positions and national security responsibilities that necessitate credit checks.

Work Experience

Crucial occupational qualifications consist of applicants’ previous and current employers, job durations, titles, and salaries. Unfortunately, misrepresentations have become too common. Conducting work history verifications will confirm or refute that those facts on resumes and applications are accurate. Candidates’ disregard for integrity is more troublesome than their embellishments since signing applications affirms their information’s accuracy.

School Records

Sadly, educational fibs have become widespread. Checking academic records ensures or disproves that contenders graduated from the colleges or universities listed on their resumes and applications with the reported degrees. Professional and industry licenses and certifications also are verifiable under this category.

Credit Reports

Companies are running credit checks on recruits and employees during promotion consideration at increasing rates. Credit score and payment record assessments are typical for positions with financial or accounting duties. Before proceeding, you must send a credit score request to all candidates and receive written agreements.

Criminal Histories

backgroundscreening2Individual state laws dictate criminal record access. Some prevent employers from obtaining older arrest and conviction information before certain times. Others allow criminal history consideration only for specific positions. This step may be compulsory for government security clearances. Before ruling out contenders with records, evaluate their crimes’ severity, how long ago they occurred, and their relevance to your business.

Additional Documentations

Certain details including driving records and bankruptcies are public. That means you can obtain that non-confidential information without applicant notifications and written permissions. The military does not need veterans’ consent to release their names, ranks, assignments, salaries, and awards. So before hiring veterans for patriotic reasons and tax advantages, confirm their military history via federal background checks.

Inaccessible Information

Even though you cannot solicit candidates’ medical records, you can ask about their abilities to perform certain duties successfully. However, you cannot eliminate hopefuls from consideration due to disabilities.

Drug and Alcohol Tests

State laws governing drug and alcohol testing vary. Some require it. Others limit how and when employers can conduct screenings. Your company can make hiring contingent on applicants passing various pre-employment drug and alcohol breath tests. Options to detect drug use include urine, blood, hair, saliva, and sweat tests.

Elimination Decisions

Whenever your organization does not hire applicants because of their background check outcomes, you must give them pre-adverse action disclosures. Include copies of their reports, rights, information on disputing their results, and contact details for the Consumer Reporting Agency.

Employment Eligibility Verifications

New hires must provide employers with legal proof that they are eligible to work in America. National PEO, a designated E-Verify Arizona agent, will ensure that your firm complies with all Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) regulations. That involves confirming all state staffers’ identities and work eligibilities via Arizona’s E-Verify program. Our experts will handle your online enrollment. Then they will process new and existing employees’ I-9 forms properly by federal deadlines so you can avoid fines, suspension, business license loss, and prosecution.

Get Better at Terminating Workers

by NPEO Media NPEO Media No Comments

Even when employee terminations are the best option for the business, they are hard for all parties. Firing staffers may be the kindest solutions for them, but dismissals can wound their self-esteem to the point of retaliation. Some discarded personnel respond violently for revenge or to ease their suffering. Others turn in former employers for legal, regulation, or ethical violations. Justified, compassionate discharge practices can help you avoid such possible reactions.

Determine Good Job Separation Reasons

Companies can let employees go with or without cause in at-will states like Arizona. But certain limitations apply. You cannot fire personnel for discriminatory motives, union activity participation, filing workers’ compensation claims, not carrying out job assignments that may break state laws, and reporting firms for legal or state policy violations.

Employer/employee relationships constitute psychological contracts with two-way expectations and promises. Although neither party verbalizes or documents these matters in writing typically, each has an unspoken recognition of what the other expects.

All workers can believe rightfully that their employers will treat them fairly and act in good faith. That involves not terminating their positions without proper, valid reasons. Firms may view any failures to meet their implicit agreements’ terms as contract breaches. Common justifications include inadequate job performance and not meeting reasonable production standards.

Follow Humanitarian Dismissal Approaches for Poor Performance

In most cases, use these guidelines for well-planned, compassionate dismissals:

  • Avoid impulsive and hasty termination decisions.
  • Do not assume that you can fire jobholders for any flimsy reasons.
  • Try to salvage working relationships before discharging employees.
  • Consider the immense impact your actions will have on staffers’ lives, families, and livelihoods.
  • Document events prompting terminations including whatever guidance and corrective actions you took.
  • Make personnel aware of possible job separations and why you might resort to such measures.
  • Prepare all discharge documents in advance. Visit National PEO’s forms page to access, save, and print our Employee Termination Form.
  • Carry out dismissals promptly once you are sure they are the right actions for the circumstances.
  • Provide good, viable reasons for all employment separations.
  • Explain clearly that job loss is the only inevitable option.
  • Treat employees in respectful, humane manners. Be civil, yet concise.
  • Help workers maintain some dignity during dismissal meetings.
  • Prevent or stop any arguments with personnel.
  • Allow staffers to ask any end-of-service questions. They may want to discuss whatever went wrong. Perhaps, employees were not good fits for their positions. Maybe their work styles were too relaxed for your firm’s fast pace. Others might have become so unhappy or bored that they quit trying. Such conversations may help workers make peace with their fates. But do not let them try to convince you to save their jobs.
  • Handle all decisions and communications with extra care so you will be able to live with your actions.
  • End final meetings by thanking discharged employees for their service and wishing them well.

Handle Immediate Firings for Dire Causes Cautiously

Your employee handbook should specify certain behaviors that necessitate terminating employment immediately. Typically, these include unique occurrences that put the rest of your team’s well-being and safety at risk. National PEO can create a basic or custom employee handbook that specifies fireable offenses including situations when workers:terminatingworkers2

  • Threaten others with brutality or perpetrate violent acts
  • Bring weapons to worksites
  • Consume alcohol or use illegal drugs on work premises
  • Harass colleagues sexually
  • Steal company property
  • Falsify time cards
  • Commit similar potentially grievous offenses

For such intolerable actions, follow these urgent termination steps:

  • Ensure that employees do not pose dangers to themselves or other staffers. If they seem threatening, move everyone else to safe locations. Contact your in-house security personnel and call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • If danger is not a concern, report any illegal acts to your local police department.
  • Assume a polite, respectful demeanor before stating fireable offenses calmly. Have strong witnesses like internal security guards present in case physical restraint becomes necessary.
  • Announce that you have terminated employment.
  • Direct workers to relinquish all company-issued property promptly.
  • Allow staffers to pack their personal items at their workstations, if circumstances allow. Otherwise, box and ship them later.
  • Escort former employees from your building, explaining that their return will constitute trespassing.

Move Forward

Whenever possible, relieve personnel of their duties after much thought when that is the only reasonable measure for specific situations. Treating employees compassionately will make accepting difficult decisions and bad news easier for each party. Your humane approach can help both of you move forward in your lives and careers.

Why Your Startup Business Needs a Great Applicant Tracking System

by NPEO Media NPEO Media No Comments

Do you realize that your new venture’s most valuable asset is your staff? If you are wasting time manually sifting through hundreds of resumes to find the most qualified applicants, modernizing will provide numerous advantages. An effective applicant tracking system (ATS) that monitors candidates can help your new firm secure coveted employees from the start. Getting onboard early will simplify and improve your talent expansion as you grow.

Small to huge businesses have embraced this handy hiring method to streamline their workforce acquisition processes. It has become affordable, thanks to today’s Internet, data analytics, social media, and other technological advancements. By partnering with HiringThing, National PEO offers an easy-to-navigate yet comprehensive application management system that will upgrade and fast forward your recruiting. Check out this software’s main advantages.

Locating Suitable Personnel

A typical candidate tracking platform offers features like:

  • Easy position postings on job boards and social networking sites
  • Application/resume screening, grading, and ranking
  • Convenient dashboard showcasing openings and candidates
  • Automatic job seeker message generation and tracking
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) conformity and monitoring
  • Integrated personality assessments and background checks

Activating Filtering and Screening

Are you taking too long to peruse stacks of resumes without any convenient quality measures? Do you wish you could curtail that tedious undertaking? A candidate management system will tighten your recruiting workflow by sifting and classifying contenders quickly so you avoid resume overload.

After the software scans all applications and customized questionnaires, scoring mode filters out non-starters. The screening process pulls all available data from the ATS and social networks on all potential new hires. It builds virtual resumes with more extensive overviews of prospective employees. Finally, it selects the most qualified talent for any specific position, so you have a much smaller pool to consider.

Conserving Time and Money

Time-intensive internal recruiting stages encompass choosing resumes, scheduling and conducting interviews, confirming references, and handling background checks. During the initial phase, just skimming a high quantity of resumes would be very time consuming. Scrutinizing each application carefully could tie up a whole week per job when many other pressing responsibilities need your attention.

Recruiting and staffing costs can add up quickly. Over the last few years, filling an entry-level position has an average cost of $5,700 to $8,900. That range includes expenses like college recruiting, travel, and relocation. Calculate your cost per hire online with breakdowns by:

  • Advertising expenditures
  • Agency fees
  • Staff referral overhead
  • Travel reimbursements
  • Relocation amounts
  • Administrative costs

applicanttracking2Luckily, a candidate management program is a very helpful tool during the application examination and sorting steps. By eliminating a sizable portion of your preliminary screening functions, this human resource (HR) automation package singles out the most appropriate contenders per position. That will save more than enough time and money to offset your software investment. It also will free up the valuable hours and funds necessary to establish and oversee your business.

Expediting External and Internal Communications

Rather than multiple personnel contacting hopefuls, your ATS can handle candidate communications efficiently. One user-friendly dashboard makes scheduling interviews and sharing forms easy. Bosses can access resumes, rank candidates, make recommendations, and correspond with each other and you. Stop trying to locate managers for interview recaps. Just log into the program and read their interview notes instead.

Assuring Compliance Obligations

If government laws and/or industry regulations require your firm to keep recruiting logs with data on every applicant, a job seeker monitoring platform will simplify that laborious task. It will track all necessary details and then generate any required reports.

Avoiding Legal Action

A helpful tracking system pre-screens resumes according to explicit job qualifications, making human bias impossible. That helps you control hiring discrimination. Should any candidate lodge a complaint, you can verify that your ATS filtered him out on inadequate credentials alone.

Building a Talent Database over Time

The key to success for every company involves hiring and retaining an impressive team. Whenever you are trying to fill new or current positions, you will have immediate access to quality resumes that your monitoring system has collected from all previous recruiting efforts.

Just search your cumulative internal database of qualified applicants you did not select to find those who might be right for other jobs. That can reduce your future hiring time significantly, increasing productivity while decreasing costs. In addition to streamlining your business automatically, converting to an ATS can enable tremendous growth so you can realize your vision.

“I Quit!” What to Do When an Employee Resigns

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“I Quit!” What to Do When an Employee Resigns

Iquite It is going to happen eventually: An employee is going to quit. Sometimes, it seemingly comes out of nowhere. Other times, you suspect that a resignation is coming soon, based on the person’s overall attitude and performance.

Regardless of the circumstances, though, how you handle the resignation as a manager can make a significant difference in how your team functions once the employee has left. Not to mention, your actions can have significant legal, security, and morale implications, so knowing what to do and when is important.

Phase 1: Accepting Notice

Rarely does an employee simply announce “I quit!” and leave the building in a blaze of glory. Anyone who values his or her career and wants to leave on good terms is going to give the appropriate notice.

When that happens, you have two options:

  1. Accept the resignation, and develop a plan for the employee to fulfill his or responsibilities over the next two to three weeks.
  2. Accept the resignation, and end employment immediately. Usually, the latter option is reserved for employees who have performance or other issues, and keeping him or her on staff any longer is only going to hurt morale or cause other problems.

In either case, request written notice of the resignation in addition to the verbal notice. Written notice will protect the company from claims of wrongful termination, unemployment compensation, or other claims of improper behavior.

Resist the temptation to make a counteroffer or otherwise tempt an employee to stay if he or she is leaving for another company. Chances are, when someone has made the decision to leave, they are already committed to the chance and a counteroffer is only going to muddy the waters. Not to mention, it sets a precedent for other employees to seek other opportunities as a means to get a raise or other benefits, which will only breed resentment.

Phase 2: Develop a Communication Plan

Because an employee’s resignation affects the entire team, it is important to handle communication about the change appropriately. Before the resigning employee leaves your office, come up with a communication plan to notify his or her co-workers, clients, and other interested parties. Decide whether you or the employee will make the announcement, when, and how much detail you will provide. It is likely that some or all of your team will have some knowledge of the employee’s plans, but give them the courtesy of making an official announcement.

Phase 3: Address the Transition

Once the news is out in the open, your remaining team members will most likely have concerns about who will handle the departing employee’s workload and the timeline for hiring someone new. It is unlikely that you will be able to hire a replacement in a few weeks, so develop a plan for handing off the work to other employees.

Ask the person leaving for a rundown of all of his or her projects and their status, as well as deadlines, and key contact information. You should also take an inventory of the employee’s skills and knowledge to ensure that the handoff goes smoothly. For example, if the resigning employee is the only person who knows how to use a particular computer program or is the only person who manages a specific task, schedule time for him or her to train someone else to complete the job. If necessary, and a manual does not already exist, a written guidebook with detailed instructions can go a long way to maintaining order once the employee leaves.

Phase 4: Paperwork

In most cases, when an employee resigns, you will need to notify HR in order to begin the process of terminating employment. This may include:

  • Scheduling an exit interview. In some organizations, someone other than the direct supervisor conducts this interview so the employee can feel more comfortable being honest.
  • Determining pay issues. You may need to submit information to payroll regarding unused vacation and sick time, termination dates, and other payment requirements. You may also need to sign paperwork related to COBRA or retirement plans.
  • Addressing security issues. When an employee leaves, it is important to collect security passes, change passwords, and restrict access to any sensitive information that he or she may have used on the job. Ex-employees actually represent a significant security risk to most companies, so be sure to close all of those loopholes to prevent even an accidental data breach.
  • Collecting equipment. If the employee was issued a laptop, phone, or other equipment, collect it on his or her last day in the office. If he or she used a personal device for work, take steps to restrict access to company information from that device.

Phase 5: Saying Goodbye

It is up to you how you want to handle the employee’s last day on the job. Many companies host a goodbye lunch, gathering in the breakroom, or goodbye party at a nearby restaurant when a valued employee leaves. Even if you do not do something formal, make a point of saying goodbye to the employee and wishing him or her well.

Losing a member of your team can be stressful, but if you follow the right procedures, the transition can be a smooth one and your employee will leave on good terms.


How to Use Peer Interviewing to Hire the Best Candidates

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How to Use Peer Interviewing to Hire the Best Candidates

InterviewingHiringBestCandidatesIn your organization, who conducts candidate interviews? Who makes hiring decisions? How involved is your team — the actual people who will be working with the new hire?

There is a growing trend in hiring to conduct peer interviews as part of the hiring process. Allowing employees a chance to meet, interact with, and evaluate potential new co-workers has been shown to help improve hiring and attract better talent. When employees are given the chance to have a say in the selection of their colleagues, it helps build better teams, improves morale, and gives them a sense of ownership in their jobs. At the same time, peer interviewing allows candidates the opportunity to evaluate their own feelings about your company, and get a better sense of what it would be like to actually work there.

In order for peer interviewing to enhance your hiring process, though, it must be done correctly. Even small mistakes can drive away top talent, or even leave your company vulnerable to legal challenges.

Beginning the Peer Interviewing Process

Imagine you are a candidate for a great position. You have made it through interviews with HR and the hiring manager for the job. You have had good rapport with everyone so far, and are excited when you are called in for a peer interview. Only when you arrive, you are ushered to a conference room where eight people sit around the table. They each have a copy of your resume, and a list of questions. For the next two hours, you are interrogated about everything from how you handle conflict to your biggest pet peeves at work. You leave exhausted, feeling like you just survived a round of hazing, and you are not sure you even want the job anymore.

Such scenarios are common in companies that use peer interviewing. In an attempt to get as many perspectives as possible and to see how the new person would fit in with the team, hiring managers bring together the whole department to meet with the candidate. While some people are up for that type of challenge, most end up feeling intimidated and exhausted.

Effective peer interviewing involves a lot more than just throwing the candidate to the team and hoping he or she comes out unscathed. You need to develop a plan, provide training, and a fair evaluation process to ensure that all candidates are evaluated equally.

Planning for Peer Interviewing

Including peer interviewing in your hiring process requires a few important steps.

  1. Consider the process. Because you want all of the candidates who go through the peer interviewing process to be evaluated fairly, you need to develop a standardized process. This includes:
  • Determining who will conduct the interviews. At most, choose two or three employees to conduct your interviews. These should be your highest performers, who are genuinely happy in their jobs and can effectively demonstrate your company’s mission come to life. You do not want to select employees who are unhappy with the company, as they may inadvertently sabotage the hiring process by sharing the problems in the organization. Honesty is important, but you do not want anyone to discourage the candidate from accepting the job.


  • Developing questions. While the interview should be a conversation, not an interrogation, you want the conversations to touch on the same topics so you can fairly evaluate candidates. Work with the people who are conducting the interviews to develop questions based around their priorities, and then run them past HR to ensure that they do not violate any fair employment laws.
  • Developing an evaluation matrix. Again, you want to compare apples to apples, and when your team is interviewing multiple candidates, they need an objective form of measurement against which to evaluate them. Consider using a numerical rating scale to assess answers to specific questions, as well as an overall candidate rank.
  1. Provide training. To conduct peer interviewing, training is vital. Because most of your team are unlikely to be trained in HR and hiring processes, they may be unaware of the potential legal issues inherent in interviewing, such as the questions that are illegal to ask, as well as some of the finer points of evaluating candidates. Your staff should be trained to identify certain communication clues, such as vague or evasive language, and how to effectively guide the answers and keep the interview on track. Mock interviews can help immensely.
  1. Schedule evaluation discussions. It is important to make it clear to everyone involved that the peer interview is only part of the hiring process, and that the hiring manager and HR will make the final decisions. However, be sure to schedule time after the interviews to have conversations with the interviewing team to get their impressions and hear their concerns. Do not simply collect the evaluation questionnaires, but seek your team’s input.

Giving your employees a voice in the hiring process can help improve employee engagement, which in turn leads to higher morale, higher productivity, and in some cases, cost savings, so before you hire your next team member, consider getting the input of his or her potential coworkers.

Legal Implications of Fraudulent Resumes

by National Peo National Peo No Comments

What Are the Legal Implications of Fraudulent Resumes?

fraudulent resumesDishonest resumes are rampant with up to 80 percent containing lies. Even more feature misleading or embellished information from job titles and responsibilities to licensing credentials and salaries.

High unemployment and tough competition for limited job openings are contributing to this alarming trend. In desperation, applicants without specialized skills or degrees are contriving better qualifications.

Internet Tricks

These days, high-tech scams are replacing minor fibs. Various Internet resources are enabling calculated resume fraud. One website offers a tax-deductible underground guide that trains candidates on various tricks. Some amplify their work experience and lie about their ages. Others receive college transcripts with any desired GPAs from any schools and manipulate their resumes so automated screening systems pick theirs.

Charlatans disguise employment gaps by creating fictitious jobs with closed or fake businesses. Disreputable websites charge job seekers to list bogus 800 numbers for phony work verifications and references. When prospective employers call those numbers, fictitious companies confirm employment and fabricate flattering recommendations.

Listing licenses and degrees from sham diploma mills is another growing trend. These online resources base their mock credentials on candidates’ life and work experiences. One such university awards degrees in only five days starting at $199 without attending classes, studying, and testing. Degree packages for any requested major include counterfeit diplomas and course transcripts with made-up subjects and grades.

Applicants can pay online services’ 800 numbers to provide prospective employers with education and degree verifications. More extreme cases entail job seekers hiring computer hackers to sneak their names into reputable university and college alumni databases so their graduation claims seem legitimate.

Protection Concerns

Today’s commonplace practice of deliberate factual résumé errors can translate into significant problems for employers. Such fraud sets companies back an estimated $600 billion per year. Shady candidates who get away with underhanded schemes to procure jobs may become unprincipled employees who harm your business in additional ways.

For your company’s protection, running federal background checks on all new hires is imperative. National PEO offers thorough background-screening services to determine if applicants are truthful about their work experience, college degrees, earned certificates, state licensure compliance, criminal histories, military service, driving records, and much more. Our experts will help you match a package to your unique verification needs.

fraudulent resumesPossible Unlawful Complications

Being familiar with these deceptive resume consequences can be helpful if this human resource (HR) issue causes problems:

Basics: While including untruths on resumes isn’t illegal, it demonstrates lapses in integrity, ethics, and trustworthiness. Certain distortions can create legal troubles for applicants or staffers. Organizations can sue any ex-employees whose lies misled companies and cost them money. If workers must make sworn statements, their deceits become illegal. Falsifying details to access sensitive government data or business records also can be unlawful.

Professional licenses: For some positions including engineers, carpenters, plumbers, and electricians, licensing by accredited state boards is mandatory to ensure that members meet specific educational or qualification requirements. Job seekers who claim to hold professional licenses dishonestly are committing crimes equivalent to practicing that profession without proper licensing.

Your company could face problems if unlicensed employees you allow to work harm anyone, so verifying all licensed candidates’ credentials is vital. Background checks will uncover fraudulently reported licenses. You also can confirm them on state agency websites and certain private sites linking to all government databases.

Liability: Fabricated resumes can cause serious liability concerns for your organization. When you hire people who are unqualified to perform their jobs, customers who suffer harm could sue your firm for negligence. Even though you might have the right to sue employees who lied on their resumes, you must demonstrate that their falsehoods harmed your business and you couldn’t have known applicants were being deceitful.

Termination: Although you may consider lying to land a job a clear offense, immediate dismissal can be a complicated process. In at-will employment states, that should be fine for an employee without a contract. But if your state demands cause for termination and discredited crooked staffer has a work contract, you might need to prove his fraud or that he’s otherwise unqualified for his job.

Document all incidents involving that worker and point out his resume deceptions before terminating him. If you make a false accusation to a contracted employee that he lied on his resume, he could bring a wrongful termination suit against your company. So first, be certain that a background check established resume fraud.

Keep Your Company’s Job Interviewing Questions Legal

by National Peo National Peo No Comments

Keep Your Company’s Job Interviewing Questions Legal

Job Interviewing Questions 1Fair hiring guidelines became laws over four decades ago to give all job seekers equal opportunities during interview and selection processes. Yet today, employers still question applicants about forbidden and insulting topics that are unrelated to job duties and performance.

A recent CareerBuilder survey found that at least one in three businesses is unsure if specific interview questions are legal for HR and hiring managers to ask contenders. And one in five has posed an illegal question unknowingly.

Sample Illegal Topics

CareerBuilder provides a sampling of typical interview questions that companies didn’t realize are illegal:

  • What’s your ethnicity, race, or color?
  • Do you have any disabilities?
  • What’s your age?
  • Are you in debt financially?
  • What’s you marital status?
  • Do you have kids or plan on starting a family in the future?
  • What political party do you support?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • What’s your religious preference?
  • Do you smoke or drink socially?

Why Protected Class Inquiries Are Off Limits

Asking any questions about protected classes like race, nationality, gender, age (40 plus), military status, and religion is illegal, advises HR attorney Charles Krugel. Other employment lawyers and experts describe why under law interviewers shouldn’t ask these common questions.

Who cares for your kids while you’re working? Even if prospective employees mention having children voluntarily, law prohibits you from basing hiring decisions on gender stereotypes, explains Tom Spiggle. You can’t assume that parents have a lower work commitment than childless people.

But if positions require working evening hours, you have the right not to offer jobs to candidates who mention being unable to stay after 5 p.m. because of their young children. Basing decisions on applicants’ work restrictions rather than improper stereotyping is acceptable.

When do you plan to have children? You can’t judge job seekers’ work dedication by whether or not they’ll have future children. Davida Perry suggests wording questions carefully to measure potential employees’ devotion. Try “What hours are you available to work?” and “Do you have any commitments outside of work that will hinder certain job duties like traveling?”

Asking noticeably pregnant interviewees when their babies are due can be problematic, cautions Lisa Schmid, because discriminating against pregnant women is unlawful. Some states have laws prohibiting explicit pregnancy questions.

What caused that limp, scar, or any other physical irregularity? The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) goes beyond prohibiting discriminating against people with actual disabilities to include those you can regard as disabled, warns Kelly Kolb. The ADA forbids you from questioning candidates about physical qualities that reflect actual or perceived disabilities.

Don’t ask applicants to reveal their medical histories or describe how their conditions affect their work abilities. But you may ask if prospective workers can perform essential job functions with or without special accommodations.

How often do Army Reserve deployments occur? Kolb says that employers can’t make hiring decisions according to military memberships or active-duty schedules. Essentially, you can’t ask about the effects of applicants’ military service on their abilities to work for your company.

Do you have an arrest record? You may ask if courts have convicted candidates with committing crimes. But legally, you can’t inquire about arrests or nights spent in jail, counsels Shari Shore. Judges may have dismissed cases without convictions, or courts may have lowered original charges to lesser ones.

Job Interviewing Questions 1Structured Questioning Is Key

Understanding which questions company reps do and don’t have legal rights to ask job applicants protects interviewers and interviewees, explains CareerBuilder’s Chief HR Officer Rosemary Haefner.

Despite hiring managers’ harmless intentions, she warns that job seekers could claim employers used certain questions to discriminate against them. Such inappropriate inquiries might set you up for legal action.

National PEO offers a full scope of employee recruitment services to avoid these problems. Our human resource experts advertise your job openings according to labor laws and find recruits through many additional sources. Consistent resume´ evaluation, interviewing, and selection practices are key to following fair hiring laws.

Our interview process is uniform to treat all applicants equally and impartially. We know which standard questions to ask and which problematic ones to skip. National PEO professionals stick to questions about contenders’ past work performance and capabilities to perform essential job duties. Then we wrap up our turnkey services with candidate evaluations, reference and background checks, and onboarding paperwork so quality new hires can get to work.

Rehiring a Former Employee

by National Peo National Peo No Comments

You’re Fired . . . Or, Maybe Not: Rehiring a Former Employee

Rehiring a Former EmployeeFor most people, getting fired means that the door to that company is closed completely. Most bosses aren’t going to go to all of the trouble of terminating someone if they aren’t completely sure that the person is not suitable for the position, or if the employee does something so egregious that termination is the only option.

Except there have been cases in which the words “you’re fired” didn’t exactly mean, “You’re gone forever.” While the likelihood of someone being rehired for the exact same position under the exact same supervisor is usually unlikely, fired employees might find that they can land a different position within the company, or do similar work if they can prove that they have made changes to address the deficiencies that led to their dismissal in the first place.

The issue of rehiring a fired employee can potentially be a contentious one, and needs to be handled with care. The potential fallout could hurt morale — and if you make a bad decision, you could find yourself in the position of having to terminate again. At the same time, rehiring an employee could prove to be a great boost to productivity and morale in the company. So how do you decide?

3 Pros of Rehiring a Former Employee

There are several good reasons that you should consider rehiring an employee who has been let go in the past, whether for the same or a different position.

1. Improved Morale

Sometimes, a fired employee is a popular one, and his or her termination leads to decreased morale among the other employees, especially when the decision comes as a surprise. Not only does bringing a well-liked and respected employee back into the fold make people happy, it also sends a message that, as an employer, you are willing to be fair and give people second chances.

2. Correction of Deficiencies

One of the most important parts of the termination process is to outline the specific reasons for the firing. Simply saying, “You’re not a good fit,” is not enough; you have to give the employee specific reasons for his or her termination.

If the decision was made due to performance reasons, but the employee can prove that those deficiencies have been corrected, then it may be worth giving him or her another chance, especially if there weren’t any other problems.

3. Smoother Transition

Employees who have worked for your company before already “know the ropes” and tend to have an easier time assimilating into your company culture. You may even be able to save time and money, since you may not have to provide as much training to someone who has worked at your company before.

Rehiring a Former Employee3 Cons of Rehiring a Former Employee

Of course, for all of the potential upsides of hiring a former employee, there are some drawbacks as well. For example:

1. Morale Could Suffer

While the return of a popular employee may be applauded, someone who had contentious relationships or caused drama can cause those feelings to resurface.

Employees might also feel that there is no incentive to perform, since even if you get fired, you can just come back to work.

2. Problems May Still Exist

Even if the employee appears to have corrected deficiencies, there is always a chance that they could still have problems, or that old behaviors and habits could return. You might find yourself having to address those problems again.

3. Resentment

Former employees who return and begin taking on plum assignments can incur the wrath of others. There could be a sense that the new-old employee has not yet paid his or her dues and earned those assignments. That could cause resentment, gossip, and even destructive behavior.

Things to Consider Before Rehiring an Employee

Opting to rehire a former employee is not an easy decision, nor should it be made as a knee-jerk reaction or a means to avoid doing the hard work of the hiring process. Turning to a former employee to fill a role in order to prevent having to interview a large number of candidates or complete the full onboarding process rarely works, and is bound to backfire. You can use our services to recruit new employees if you’re trying to reduce your workload.

Terminated employees who wish to come back to your company should have to go through the same hiring process as any other candidate, although it’s reasonable to expect that you will scrutinize those applications more closely than others.

Among the factors that you should consider include:

  • The circumstances of the termination. How serious was the offense, and how were other employees impacted by it?
  • The former employee’s relationships with co-workers.
  • How will rehiring affect other employees?
  • What steps has the former employee taken to correct deficiencies?
  • In what capacity would the employee be working? A different position in a different department might not create the same animosity or issues as someone returning to work in the same department.
  • Are there any legal issues associated with bringing someone back to the company?

Determining whether to rehire a former employee can be a difficult decision. Much depends on the circumstances of the termination, and the overall affect that someone’s return can have on the company. As they say, time heals all wounds, and it might just be that time away can turn a poor employee into a great one.