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As an employer, you want to know all about a prospective employee's qualifications. Thankfully, you can use an Employment Application to gather the information you need to make hiring decisions. With knowledge in hand, you'll not only be able to find the best candidate for the job, you'll be protecting your business from a legal perspective.
Use an Employment Application if:
You want to determine a prospective employee's qualifications for a position.
You want to compare several applicants for a position.
You want to learn about an applicant's qualifications in preparation for an interview.
Nearly everyone who gets hired first fills out an Employment Application. But not every employer asks the right questions. The most important thing to realize up front is that certain questions are actually illegalto ask. You can’t, for example, inquire about an applicant’s race or sexual preference.
Our Employment Application includes only questions that are federally legal, so when you’re using it, you have the peace of mind knowing that you’re not overstepping your bounds as an employer.
How to use an Employment Application:
Depending on your circumstances, there are a few different ways to use our Employment Application. First, you can have a prospective employee fill it out online, either at your place of business or at their own leisure. This allows you to store all your applications in the cloud, in one place, for easy access when you’re making your big hiring decision.
On the other hand, you can have an interviewee fill out the application by hand when he or she comes in for an interview. Our Employment Application is printable, so you’ll just note which questions you’d like to ask, and your prospective employee can fill out the areas you ask about.
What you can ask on an Employment Application:
As noted above, there are a few questions you cannot legally ask when hiring due to federal law. And, depending on the state you live in, you may not be able to ask interviewees much (if anything) about their criminal background. It’s smart to consult with an attorney about criminal record information if this is a deal-breaker for you and your company.
Beyond the basic demographic information---such as employee name, employer name and address, etc.---here are a few of the things you should include in your Employment Application:
Job title and salary: The first thing you need to clear up is what exactly this employee would be doing. Include information about the job and decide whether you’ll be setting the salary or whether the employee will request a salary.
Employee’s background and references: It’s smart to discover where you’re applicant has worked before, what experience they have, and who will vouch for them. Often times, this section can be redundant, as many prospective employees will include a resume with much of this information, but getting it here, on the Employment Application form itself, can keep you much more organized.
Employee’s history with your company: Often times, interviewees will have been recommended by a current employee or, less frequently, will have applied at your place of business before. Getting that information lets you know where the applicant is coming from and how well they might fit into your company culture. Internal references often produce the best workers, so make sure you know how applicants found your opening.
Start date: Depending on the job, the interviewee might need to start as soon as possible. If you have a hard and fast start date, include it on the Employee Application. Keep in mind that it’s considered common courtesy to give two weeks notice to previous employers when changing jobs.
At-will: It’s important to spell out whether the job in question is at-will or not. At-will employment means that an employee can quit at any time and an employer can lay off or fire an employee at any time, so long as those reasons don’t contradict federal law. (For example, you can’t fire an employee because you don’t agree with his or her politics or marital status.)
Other hiring documents:
If you’re hiring, chances are your business is growing. Here are a few documents business owners and HR staff often need to keep things in order:
If you have any questions about what’s right for you and your business, we can connect you with a lawyer for quick answers or a document review. If you're looking for more information about hiring employees, or other employee related documents, be sure to visit our Human Resources Guide.
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