A number of businesses are showing signs of recovery post COVID-19 lockdown, and have found themselves needing to expand their team and advertise for more staff, after initially making people redundant. So - what if you had to let an employee go recently due to the COVID downturn and now you need to refill that position – must you re-employ your ex-employee?
Are you guilty of any of the following?
Here are the most common slip ups we see employers making…
- Not having your employee sign the employment agreement prior to starting is liable to result in problems including:
- Any 90 day trial period clause would be void
- Terms and conditions could be difficult to enforce and costly to negotiate after the fact
- Depending on how long it takes to get an agreement signed a precedent could be set that dictates what those terms and conditions will be
- Not having an IEA is in breach of the Employment Relations Act
- Making a binding job offer without all terms agreed and references completed. If you make a verbal offer and the applicant verbally accepts that offer, you have a done a deal – a contract has been formed. In the excitement, the conversation often goes along the lines of:
Employer: Thanks for attending the interview this morning. We would love to offer you the job.
Applicant: That’s brilliant. I would love to come and work for you. I have to give two weeks’ notice,
so can start on 25 November.
- Not doing reference checks at all or not doing thorough reference checks on preferred candidates can lead to problem employees further down the track. If you do reference checks don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions such as ‘Were there any formal performance or disciplinary issues related to this candidate?’, ‘Did they raise a dispute or personal grievance with your organisation?’ or ‘Would you rehire them into the role they were doing before they left?’ ‘Was there ever any reason to question their integrity?’ Look closely at who their referees are; have they left out their last immediate manager or employer? Why?
- Not following process. Whether you are restructuring, performance managing or disciplining, there is a process that must be followed. There is a legal process and you may also have a documented internal process. It is important to comply with these to avoid any risk of a personal grievance.
- Hasty decisions because you are desperate! Don’t make them. If they are the best candidate out of a bad bunch and in normal circumstances you would say no, just say no and start again. It REALLY is not worth the long term grief.
- Using an interview as your only selection tool. Research suggests that a structured interview gives you a little over 60% chance of selecting a right candidate, while an unstructured interview drops this to just over 30%. You would be better off randomly selecting someone off the street! In the unstructured interview we tend to choose the person we like best, which doesn’t necessarily mean they can do the job.