list handy and use it as a checklist. Also, make sure you take
note of successive periods of short service; these can be a bad
sign. Make sure you understand the “why” behind the bumps.
Successive periods of short service can mean the candidate has
trouble holding down a job.
4. Prepare your questions in advance: Prepare a list of questions
in advance of the interview and ask all the applicants the same
questions to make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
This will help keep you focused on the task at hand instead
of side tracking the interview to talk about personal interests.
5. Ask about restrictive covenants: If your potential hire is
coming to you from a competitor, make sure to ask whether
they are bound by any restrictive covenants that might impact
their ability to do the job. For example, a sales rep who cannot
service and/or solicit customers may not be ideal. If a potential
new hire is bound by restrictive covenants, ask to see copies of
the documents and have them reviewed by your legal counsel
before offering them a position. You may be able to live with
the restrictions, but you may not.
6. Call references: For whatever reason, this step is often skipped
in the hiring process. It is important to call references to get the
inside scoop with respect to your potential new recruit. If you
are told that “company policy is to not provide references,” this
can be a red flag. If you receive this type of response, make sure
you call all other references provided to you. Satisfy yourself
before making an offer.
7. Involve your staff: Once you have narrowed down your
candidate pool, involve your staff in the interview process to
the extent that you can. If your potential new hire is going to
work as part of a team, make sure the team has met, and is
onboard, with the new addition. Buy-in goes a long way and
will contribute to your organization’s success in the long run.
8. Use employment agreements: Once you have selected the
candidate to whom you wish to make an offer, make your
offer by way of an employment agreement or offer letter that
includes all of the terms being offered to the candidate. These
should include terms relating to compensation, termination,
confidentiality, non-solicitation, intellectual property and,
in certain cases, non-competition. Then, make sure the
employment agreement or offer letter is signed before the new
hire begins work. If not, you will have trouble enforcing the
agreement if things do not work out.
9. Probationary period: Track it and use it. In Ontario, the
typical probationary period is three months. The probationary
period allows employers to assess performance and fit. If
documented properly, the probationary period can provide
employers with an opportunity to let a new hire go without
having to provide notice if things are not going well. In order
to use the probationary period this way, the employment
agreement or offer letter needs wording to exclude the
employee’s right to common law notice.
10. Policies: Distribute and enforce them consistently and fairly.
The law requires employers to have certain policies in place
(e.g., harassment, violence, health and safety). These policies
will generally apply to all employees in an organization. Make
sure that distribution and training on these policies occurs at
the outset of the relationship. n
Andrea M. Marsland is a partner at Fogler, Rubinoff LLP.
PREPARE A LIST OF
QUESTIONS IN ADVANCE OF
THE INTERVIEW AND ASK
ALL THE APPLICANTS THE
SAME QUESTIONS TO MAKE
SURE YOU ARE COMPARING
APPLES TO APPLES.
14 ❚ DECEMBER 2018 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL