What To Consider When Hiring During The COVID-19 Pandemic

The economy is creeping back from our national shutdown and quarantine, and many firms are ramping up their hiring. In fact, some companies never stopped onboarding new employees. They simply pivoted their process and forged ahead. Whether you are returning to the hiring game or you never stopped, it can be unnerving to hire additional team members during a pandemic. It’s a good idea to stop and reevaluate some of your practices for onboarding and hiring during COVID-19.

We’ve consulted with our in-house expert, our Director of Human Resources, Kendra Deas, to uncover the best practices to help navigate hiring during these unprecedented times.

Please note, laws are changing frequently and may vary by state, city, or county. Be sure to review the resources available at the United States Department of Labor webpage.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Readers of this article should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter. Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein — and your interpretation of it — is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.

Six Hiring Practices You Should Reevaluate Due To The COVID-19 Pandemic

1. Interviewing

Asking candidates to interview in-person during COVID-19 can raise safety issues. Most companies in the United States have shifted to virtual interviews rather than bringing candidates in for face-to-face interviews. Employers should be aware of state laws concerning video interviews and recordings. If it is vital for candidates to come to the office for a face-to-face interview, employers should take appropriate safety precautions and comply with any local or state COVID-19 orders, such as mask mandates.

2. Determining Start Dates Of Applicants Who Have Tested COVID-19 Positive

To ensure safety and well-being, employers may delay start dates for applicants confirmed to have COVID-19. Those that have associated symptoms or have the coronavirus should not be in the workplace. However, an employer should not postpone a start date for individuals who are simply at high risk but do not have signs, symptoms, or a positive test for the virus. It is best practice to discuss telework options with these individuals.

3. Screening Applicants For Symptoms Of COVID-19 During The Hiring Process

According to the EEOC, employers may screen applicants for COVID-19 after making a conditional offer, as long as the employer does this for all employees applying for the same job.

See how IQTalent Partners is helping displaced workers due to COVID-19

4. Pre-Employment Medical Exams

Medical exams may be permitted after an employer has made an offer to a candidate. Employers should be aware that COVID-19 symptoms are different for each individual. All medical examinations should be consistent and kept confidential.

5. Hiring Decisions: Onsite Or Remote

These hiring decisions should be made on a case by case basis. To improve employee engagement, employers should be flexible and provide telework options if possible. Employers should be consistent in applying the same ADA analysis across the board for candidates with underlying health conditions that place them at high risk. Employers should make sound decisions and consult with the company’s legal counsel.

6. Rescinding Job Offers To Applicants Who Confirmed That They Have COVID-19

Employers should use caution when rescinding a job to ensure they are not violating ADA guidelines. While employers may withdraw an offer if the job requires the applicant to start immediately, it is best practice not to make short term decisions about long term employment opportunities. Be sure to consult the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and be aware of a new required labor law compliance poster that must be displayed in the workplace.

This article was originally published on the IQTalent Partners blog by Kristin Taylor.

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Chris is the Co-Founder & Senior Partner at IQTalent Partners, a professional service firm focused on finding, assessing and hiring key talent for teams.

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Chris Murdock

Chris is the Co-Founder & Senior Partner at IQTalent Partners, a professional service firm focused on finding, assessing and hiring key talent for teams.