Hiring new talent as a small business owner can be a big step. It can also be a stressful process as you try to find the best fit for your business while maintaining the day-to-day operations.
Whether this is your first foray into the hiring process or not, you may know there are many steps to take. However, there are two critical things that all small business owners must address within that process.
1. Know the protected classes
As a business owner and employer, you know that discrimination is against the law. The details of these laws bear repeating.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) highlights the characteristics that have protections under federal and California law from discrimination. These include, but are not limited to:
- Religious affiliations
- Sexual or gender identities
- Medical and health information
- Country or cultural origins
These protections cover prospective employees who apply for and interview for positions within your small business, as well as current or past employees. It is important to remain aware of these protected classes, especially while you approach the interview process.
2. Craft your questions carefully
You must consider all of the characteristics and classes above, so you can avoid any reference to them when creating:
- Your job description and application process
- The list of questions you will ask while interviewing job candidates
Employers cannot ask prospective employees about details related to these protected classes. Focus on the qualities you would like to see in an employee who will represent your small business instead. Even if a question regarding a protected class seems innocent, it could put your business at risk of a discrimination claim.
Of course, you want to be selective during this process. However, these are some of the most critical elements you must consider when hiring new employees. You must ensure that you still comply with state and federal laws.