Resource Library

Avoid Legal Pitfalls When Hiring

Friendly black businesswoman leader discussing work with colleague at the meeting in officeDate: April 2017

When hiring new employees, an employer’s underlying goal is to find a candidate with the best skills, knowledge and abilities for the job. To make this decision, employers collect and evaluate information about potential candidates through the hiring process.

The hiring process can come with legal pitfalls at every stage. It is important for individuals involved in the hiring process to recognize and avoid these legal pitfalls when hiring where possible. Breaking down the hiring process into key areas can help identify the pitfalls and ways to avoid them.

Legal Pitfalls When Hiring Addressed in This Resource

This Resource touches on the following legal issues surrounding the hiring process for public entities and provides tips on how to avoid them:

  1. Position description: essential functions of the job; minimum training and experience; and knowledge, skills and abilities
  2. Postings, advertisements and recruiting materials
  3. Application: Tennessen Warning; application questions; criminal record history; and certifications, authorizations and releases
  4. Screening process: Veterans Preference Act
  5. Interviewing: effective questions versus problematic questions and phrasing
  6. Background checks: reference checks, using social media and Internet searches for background checks and other background checks
  7. Documentation