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How to hire a new employee: 5 essential steps

3-minute read

You’ve found the best candidate for your business. Now how do you hire them?

It’s important to follow the right steps to ensure your dream hire doesn’t turn into a nightmare. Here are five essential steps to follow when hiring a new employee.

1. Do your due diligence

You should contact the references provided by the candidate to check their job application and what they said in their interview. Also inquire about any other relevant information, including contacting educational institutions to verify credentials. Look carefully into anything that doesn’t make sense, seems inconsistent or appears skimmed over. If references don’t include previous employers, you can contact them to research the applicant.

Other helpful background can be gleaned by Googling the prospective employee and looking at online activity, such as their Facebook, X and LinkedIn pages and blog posts. You should also do any background checks appropriate to the job, such as a criminal record search and check on whether the person is authorized to work in Canada.

2. Make a job offer

You should present a written job offer that outlines the following:

  • financial and other compensation
  • any probationary period
  • leave and vacation terms
  • work hours
  • the job title and a detailed description of tasks
  • the nature of employment (for example, part- or full-time, contract or permanent)
  • who the person reports to
  • how their performance will be reviewed
  • any dress code requirements
  • the start date and, if the contract is for a fixed term, the end date
  • the process for amending and terminating employment
  • any requirement for signing non-disclosure, non-compete, confidentiality or other agreements
  • a clause stating that the offer is conditional on a successful background check
  • the date by which the applicant must respond

For lower-level employees, a signed offer letter is usually used for hiring. For more senior jobs, the letter (once accepted) is typically used as the basis for a more detailed employment contract. It’s helpful for a lawyer to review your standard offer letter and employment contract. You should also be aware of government rules on wages, leave, holidays and work hours to make sure you are in compliance.

3. Be innovative with compensation

Be creative with methods for compensating and rewarding employees in your job offer. These may help you attract top talent while keeping costs down. Examples include performance-based bonuses, profit sharing, days off for personal matters, innovative work arrangements such as telecommuting and flexible office hours, and perks such as massages, company discounts and gym memberships.

4. Discuss job accommodations

After you’ve made a job offer, discuss any work accommodations the employee may request for special needs, such as disability, religious practices and caregiving responsibilities. Check the rules in your jurisdiction for legal requirements on accommodating employee needs.

5. Keep records

You should start a file for the worker’s basic employment information, such as earnings and hours worked. You’ll also need to obtain their address, social insurance number and other information for payroll tax purposes and your records.

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