Brent M. Giddens
Carlton DiSante & Freudenberger LLP

What documentation is important when hiring someone?

There are several documents that are very important in the hiring process, but perhaps there is none more important than a job description. That is a written document that sets forth mental and physical requirements of the job. Obviously if there is a desk job or administrative position the job description is going to look quite different than something that requires more manual labor such as a warehouse person, or a shelf stocker or more physical jobs. But whatever job it is your hiring to fill make sure that you've prepared a detailed written description that covers not only the mental requirements of the job but also the physical requirements of the job and in general what it is you expect that employee to perform. One of the biggest problems that I see when I get telephone calls from my clients about poorly performing employees is often times it's just a lack of communication. That is that the employee was never specifically told what precisely it was expected of them and having that job description both in the interview process to use as a tool but also down the road to help in evaluating the employee's performance, there will be no miscommunication between the employer and the employee about precisely what it is that is expected of them. In addition it is also very important to have that job description if that employee God forbid is injured on the job or sick or otherwise needs to go to the doctor, because you will not be able to communication very directly with the employee's doctor with what job requirements that employee is expected to fulfill. Obviously a doctor in evaluating somebody's fitness for duty is going to look at an employee very differently if they have a lifting requirement say of 50lbs that might be typical of a warehouse employee vs a more clerical employee who really doesn't life much of anything but sits in front of a computer scene all day. Those job descriptions are going to be quite different and therefore the doctor's evaluation that whether that employee is fit for duty is going to be quite different as well. And so we don't want the doctor to know about the employee's job only from the employee because the employee maybe motivated by either that they don't want to come back to work or they can't afford to be off of work. But in any event the employees tend to shade what the tell the doctor about their job responsibilities and as a result we want to make sure that you have something to present to the doctor that tells the doctor from your perspective precisely what it is that the employee is required to do.