Most companies have hiring policies identifying an equitable process used to recruit, interview and select the best candidate for any given opening. Such policies typically define the procedure for requisitioning personnel. Hiring policies also identify who is responsible for interviewing candidates, obtaining reference and background checks, and record-keeping. Departmental guidelines define who is authorised to present an offer and negotiate a start date. Procedures relative to starting salaries are also a vital part of the hiring process.
Laws apply not only to employees, but also to job applicants. Any form of discrimination or unfair treatment is in violation of the laws enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Employees given the authority to participate in the hiring process should not only understand the company policy, it is advisable that training be provided.
Internal Job Postings
Most companies believe in promoting from within their ranks. Typically, prior to any external sourcing activity, posting the job internally is mandated in the hiring policy. The exception may be executive level positions or jobs that are unique and difficult to fill. Employees are normally given a week to respond to job postings before the search goes public.
Employee Referral Programs
Hiring policies may include a program that elicits and rewards the assistance of the employer's workforce. Staff members are invited to refer qualified outside candidates. In addition to being helpful to human resources, it is also a cost-effective measure. Workers refer friends or colleagues for open positions. Employees not only make the referral, but typically promote their company to the applicant, which is helpful in the recruitment process.
The hiring policy normally defines how external sourcing is handled. If the human resources department is adequately staffed, recruiting is done internally. HR recruiters use a combination of Internet job boards and networking. Recruiting is outsourced if the HR staff is small or the position is difficult to fill. Budget constraints also play a part in recruitment function.
The Interview Process
Firms vary in how they conduct interviews and who is included in the process. Shawndra Pileri, team leader of construction equipment at TACOM, a U.S. Army Life Cycle Management Command headquartered in Warren, Mich., recommends panel interviews as a tool in the selection process. According to Pileri, "Interviewing in a panel atmosphere gives each candidate an equal opportunity to be evaluated by a group of at least three individuals." Candidates are rated based on their experience, education, certifications and technical competencies.
Significance of a Job Offer
Once a qualified candidate has been selected, background checks should be performed and evaluated. In preparing an offer, it is vital to the integrity of the hiring policy that salary guidelines are adhered to. Offering a starting wage that exceeds the hiring range for that position can have a negative effect on internal equity. Offer letters are normally carefully worded to avoid any verbiage that implies a contract. Most hiring policies ask the candidate to respond in writing within a specified time frame or the offer will be rescinded.