Expert Risk Management in Hiring
By Allegiance Staffing
July 20, 2015
Suppose an employment agency recommends an employee who just doesn’t work out. After the first six months of patient prodding and guidance, the employee is entirely inefficient, unpredictable, or even destructive. You paid for sub par work. You lost because the employee damaged some important business relationships. You have to fire him.
Firing someone is always very difficult. Personally, it’s an unpleasant severing of a relationship that could have grown over the months. But there are also lots of risks involved. Employees who get let go can be very emotional about it. Sometimes they take it personally. With every firing, your company takes the risks of some kind of vendetta or law suit. Seventy-five percent of commercial lawsuits are over employment disputes. Forty percent of these are in small or medium-sized businesses.
Discrimination lawsuits and unfair dismissal lawsuits can be complex because you are dealing with factors that are difficult to define. A former employee may claim he was treated unfairly, or fired on the basis of one of the civil rights grounds: gender, race, age, religion. If the employer doesn’t carefully and credibly document the employees’ failures, the lawsuit can quickly turn into the employer’s word against the complainant’s word.
Legal action by a fired employee can be expensive, even if the plaintiff doesn’t win. There are legal expenses and time expenses. In most cases, the employer absorbs all of it. Even if you can sue the recruiting company for breach of contract or some other basis, your company has taken a hit and has to re-engage the hiring process to start over.
- Use employment contracts to protect your liabilities. The contracts should specifically set out what you expect of the employee. These contracts give you a systematic point-by-point means of documenting the former employee’s failures.
- Make sure you conduct and document repeated disciplinary conferences where your evaluation of his performance is clearly stated.
- Develop a standard protocol for employee evaluation, so the performance of all employees is measured on the same yardstick.
- Educate yourself as to your legal responsibilities under the Equal Opportunity Employment provisions of the law.
- When you fire the employee, do so in a clear way, detailing his performance shortfalls. Tell him what his severance agreement will provide. Fire employees with compassion and wish them well in future endeavors. Always have a witness in the room who takes detailed notes.
Allegiance Staffing has developed the assessment procedures to ensure skill levels, and guarantees government compliance in hiring practice. We help you to reduce hiring risk. Please contact us to learn more.