Labor Law: Post-pandemic hiring practices | local business news

By KAREN MICHAEL Special Correspondent

Many employers are evaluating their hiring practices after the pandemic by assessing needs in place, efficiency, use of artificial intelligence, outsourcing, and general hiring practices.

Here are some of the solid best practices employers should consider:

1. Post job offers and carry out objective recruitment. Some employers have leaned toward promoting employees without posting roles. When a company doesn’t post jobs, it creates division and a sense of favoritism. I see this in all roles, even when I select interim or temporary assignments. Managers must develop their talent so that they are prepared and successful in open internal recruitment. There should be no fake or “post and fill” hires.

Some employers post internal hires for a couple of weeks and then open them to external hires only if there are insufficient numbers of qualified candidates. Depending on the current representation of the workforce, employers are cautioned that only hiring from within may delay progress in the area of ​​DEI.

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2. Post the salary range. It’s time to bring pay transparency to all roles. A new law that goes into effect Nov. 1 in New York City requires employers to post the salary range. Candidates deserve to know the salary range when they apply so they can determine if pursuing the opportunity is worth the effort. If the pay is really “competitive,” then the employer shouldn’t worry too much about posting the range.

3. Review the qualifications. Employers should update their job requirements and ask if a degree or certification is actually required to perform the position and/or if experience can substitute for educational requirements. Employers can broaden the pool of applicants by removing unnecessary “requirements.”

4. Be intentional, but don’t drag out the process. The number 1 complaint I hear from managers and candidates is that the process is too long. Most blame HR, but many times it’s management indecision that causes the delay. Employers must run a deliberate recruiting process and strategically determine who needs to interview the candidate and why. Candidates complain that they endure hours of interviews that include lengthy work projects. Some of this is unnecessary. Be efficient in the process.

5. Make the process easy and personalized. It seems that everyone is hiring, but no one is hired. Some feel that online applications have made it more difficult to be selected for interviews. Employers should test their process by having people in their organization play the role of a candidate and try to go through their own process. You may be surprised at how difficult it is to search for a job, apply and get noticed/selected for an interview.

6. Perform background checks. Too often, bad employees move on to other organizations because a background check was not done, which not only hurts potential productivity, but could also be a negligent hiring or security situation. Require that the “references” given by the candidate be professional references to those who worked with the candidate in some capacity (colleague, client, served together on a board, etc.). Employers should also always confirm previous employment, dates of employment, reason for leaving (if provided by employer), as well as college or graduate school graduation. Inspect what you expect.

While some previous employers will provide only dates of employment, job title, and possibly salary, employers should include contacting previous managers to seek information about the candidate in their process. Unfortunately, some candidates misrepresent or outright lie about their educational or employment experiences. Many employers use a third party to conduct background checks, and if they do, the employer must also comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

7. Make and communicate selection decisions. Candidates frequently complain that they have been misled during the application process or after an interview. Inform candidates if they are not selected when you become aware of that decision.

8. Pay fairly. The recruiting effort is not an opportunity to get a good deal. Pay according to what others in the position earn based on experience, education and other relevant factors. Avoid relying on previous salary as a basis for determining pay. Virginia passed a law in 2020 that allows employees to share wage information without retaliation from the employer. Many employees share their salary information with each other to hold the employer accountable for pay equity. Make sure you can justify all payment decisions.

Managers rely on Human Resources for their recruiting efforts, but in reality, they need to own their own recruiting. Managers must continually expand their network so that when they have openings, they can tap into a diverse network of potential candidates and encourage them to apply for the positions.

Karen Michael is an attorney and president of Richmond-based Karen Michael PLC, and the author of “Stay Hired.” You can reach her at

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