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Hiring Employees Part Two: Hiring Etiquette

In part one of our latest series about hiring employees, we took a closer look at the pre-hiring process. Businesses must be able to identify the type of worker they plan to hire, which may be either an employee or independent contractor. They must stay compliant with state laws by registering for an employer identification number (EIN) before hiring any workers. Companies must also file, and understand the differences between, Form I-9, W-4, and W-2. Once they have taken care of this paperwork, they may move on to create a compensation plan and follow set guidelines for reporting the new hire to the state.

Now that you have an understanding for handling the pre-hiring process, it’s time to move on to hiring etiquette. This encompasses the following aspects for hiring workers.

  1. How to Create a Job Description
    1. Job responsibilities, education, and experience
    2. Materials to request from applicants
    3. Common application submission methods
  2. How to Conduct Job Interviews
    1. Phone screeners
    2. In-person and video interviews
    3. Basic dos and don’ts for employers interviewing applicants
  3. How to Make a Job Offer
    1. What should be included in a job offer letter?

How to Create a Job Description

Job descriptions should be able to clearly provide an overview of the role you’re hiring for and the company. Let’s look at a few areas that employers need to consider for writing this description.

  • Responsibilities. This includes a list of daily and regular, responsibilities and functions the individual hired for the job is expected to fulfill when hired.
  • Education. You may seek hires that have a college degree or training in an industry-specific field.
  • Experience. Depending on the nature of the job and its responsibilities, employers may request only applicants with a certain number of years and experience apply for the job. This section may also cover specific skills you’d like from applicants. Skill sets may range from technical (such as understanding HTML) to soft skills (team player mentality, ability to work well under pressure, friendly demeanor).
  • Physical demands. Use this section to detail if there is physical labor involved in the position, such as lifting heavy equipment or sitting for long periods of time.
  • Working conditions. You may mention whether this is an in-office position or there are remote opportunities. Applicants may be required to have a driver’s license and car, come in during set hours or on certain days, and work in a space where there is some noise.

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At the end of a job description, make sure to specify what materials interested applicants need to submit to your team. These may include the following items:

  • Application form(s)
  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Portfolio material

Common Job Application Submission Methods

How can the applicant apply for the job listing? Employers may use one (or all) of these common submission methods.

  • Applying directly through the company website.
  • Using job listing portals, like LinkedIn and Indeed, to submit your materials.
  • Emailing a specific contact with your application materials.
  • Walking in an application, depending on the job and its location.

How to Conduct Job Interviews

As you begin reviewing prospective resumes and cover letters, you may find applicants that seem like a good fit for the position. Set these applications aside for interview purposes.

Job interviews are typically conducted in three rounds. Let’s look at each specific stage of the interview process.

  • Initial interview. The first round of interviews is usually conducted with a phone screener. Your interviewer will share ahead of time that this is meant to be a short call, no more than 20 to 30 minutes long. Phone screeners are usually effective in determining how much the applicant knows about the company and gauging their interest in the job.
  • In-person and video interviews. A great initial interview may be followed up by an invitation to meet with members of the company for an in-person interview. Generally, these interviews are conducted on site at the company’s headquarters or primary office. A video interview may also be conducted depending on the applicant’s location. Video conferencing platforms, like Skype or Zoom, may be used for these interviews. A successful second interview often leads to one final interview. Employers may also request that the applicant takes a short aptitude test in order to further gauge their skill set.

Basic Employer Interview Dos and Don’ts

Most applicants know what it takes to successfully interview and land a job offer. However, what about employers that are new to the interview process? What should they keep in mind as they interview applicants?

  • Interview with another member of the team. This may be the manager of the department the company is hiring for the position or a member of HR. Having another leader in the room to interview alongside you is beneficial for determining which questions to ask and getting a better feel of the applicant’s personality and body language.
  • Bring a copy of the applicant’s resume and cover letter. Savvy applicants may bring copies of their own — but it never hurts to have extra copies on hand.
  • Start the interview on time. If the applicant has arrived on time, make sure you don’t delay their interview and make them wait for long.
  • Dress appropriately. Employers should set a good example of what candidates may expect from the company dress code.

How to Make a Job Offer

If all your interviews with the applicant have been successful and you feel like they would be a good fit for the team, it’s time to make them a job offer.

Job offers should include the following information:

  • Open the job offer with enthusiasm. You may say “We are excited to announce,” or “It is our pleasure to offer you,” before diving into the news that the applicant received the job.
  • Detail which job they received, whom they will be reporting to, and to which department.
  • Clearly outline the anticipated start date for the job.
  • Include a list of the compensation and benefits the candidate will receive.
  • Mention the protocol necessary for accepting the job offer. Generally, this means signing and returning the offer letter by a specific date. You may also provide an alternative means to contact the team via phone call, too.

Congratulations! You’re hired! Join us soon for part three in this series as we discuss onboarding techniques and more.

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com which provides online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent services, DBAs, and trademark and copyright filing services. You can find MyCorporation on Twitter at @MyCorporation.

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