“Smart” Recruiting is not only important for the obvious reason of wanting to attract the best-qualified employees. In today’s complex legal climate, employers can be found liable for negligent hiring if they fail to show appropriate due diligence in the hiring process which results in unreasonable harm to others.

Contact us for more recruiting advice.

Example of negligent hiring might include:

  • Not contacting former employers
  • Not verifying licenses or certificates
  • Not checking references
  • Not checking for criminal records
  • Not checking for history of drug or alcohol abuse

The following are some guidelines to follow when recruiting employees. Please keep in mind that it is important to scrutinize candidates appropriately, but also important to not violate the applicants’ rights to privacy or any other discrimination or labor laws.


  • Assess the Need – Evaluate carefully the exact nature of the position to be filled.
  • Draft a Job Description – List the major and collateral job responsibilities, reporting structure, skills.
  • Decide on Recruiting Media – Consider local and major newspapers, professional organization publications, job banks, Internet-based recruiting, trade and other schools, etc.
  • Draft Job Ad – A well-crafted ad that includes just the right information can make all the difference in how many qualified candidates you obtain.
  • Use Standard Employment Application – Even for candidates who submit resumes, a well-written job application serves a number of important legal and information-gathering purposes.
  • Check References – Always check references, even if the candidate has been personally referred to you.Avoid friends and relatives and insist on speaking with at least one former boss.
  • Conduct Background Checks and Drug/Alcohol Screening – The cost of these tests has become increasingly affordable. Use a reputable consumer reporting agency who will help ensure compliance with federal and state credit reporting laws.
  • Conduct Phone Interviews – A brief phone interview can weed out unacceptable candidates.
  • Conduct In Person Interviews –Make sure the interview is not superficial but be careful not to ask questions that violate federal or state laws. (See our handout on interviewing.)
  • Use Written Job Offers – Formalize the job offer with a written letter detailing the terms and conditions of employment, start date, reporting structure, at-will nature of employment, etc.

Our seasoned HR consultants have years of recruiting experience in a variety of industries and would be delighted to help out with any aspect of this process. Please contact us for a customized quote.

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