Perhaps you are a solo practitioner ready to hire your first assistant, or a small firm practitioner whose practice is thriving and it’s time to add an associate. Whatever your reasons for bringing a new person on board, here are 5 key components that can help make the process a success.
Craft an up-to-date, well thought out job description.
A good job description describes in detail the tasks, duties, functions and responsibilities of the position. An accurate job description is important not only during the hiring process but also later on as you train and manage your new hire.
Properly classify the position as employee or independent contractor.
All information that provides evidence of the degree of control and independence should be considered. Proper classification is important. The IRS publication Employee vs. Independent Contractor – Seven Tips for Business Owners provides an overview of considerations.
Determine exempt or non-exempt status.
The status will set out what body of laws governs your employer-employee relationship and help you determine the parameters of the position. Look at the definitions for Executive Exemption, Administrative Employee Exemption, and Professional Employee Exemption to guide you in making this determination. The U.S. Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division has a helpful Fact Sheet to get you started. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries is a great resource as well for navigating state Wage & Hour requirements.
Cast a wide net in recruiting.
Utilizing the job description you’ve crafted, put together a concise job posting to help attract well-matched candidates. Consider listing the position on various internet job sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, Indeed, Craigslist, Go2worksource, WSBA’s Career Center. Reach out to local universities or community colleges—many have active, free online job boards.
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Don’t rush the interview process.
Resist the temptation to hire the first person you interview—no matter how qualified they might appear. Develop standard questions to ask of each candidate and conduct your interviews. Telephone interviews are often used for the first round followed by in-person interviews with your most highly qualified candidates. With the candidate’s permission, thoroughly check references before making a job offer.