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Hiring and training practices have a direct and significant impact on your liability exposures as an employer. We frequently work with our clients to develop formal hiring and employee orientation policies. Hiring the right people for the right job lays the groundwork for everything that takes place in your business. There is no substitute for a solid foundation. Sourcing and hiring practices are one area where the basics remain largely the same, regardless of industry. All employers should focus on keeping the hiring process, from recruiting to onboarding, qualification-based. Screening should be centered on the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience criteria required to successfully perform the job. Cast a wide net to develop a broad and diverse candidate pool, and assess each applicant consistently and equally on the merits.Always use a formal application (written and/or electronic), consistent interviewing, testing, and qualification standards. Formal job descriptions with physical demands should be established for all positions. These job descriptions will help you determine the scope of background checks for each class of positions (i.e., driving positions, cash-handling positions, exposure to minors or elderly, etc.). A criminal background check or credit check may not be appropriate for all positions but may be necessary for others. Proper authorization forms should be obtained from the applicant for each background check conducted. Consistency is key, and establishing formal procedures will help you avoid pitfalls.Build your hiring procedures around the ultimate goal of finding the most qualified person for the job by providing equal opportunity for every candidate who applies. Be fair, consistent, and impartial throughout the process. Formal policies help reduce potential exposure to discriminatory hiring practices claims. Rely upon your HR professionals, know the law, and train your hiring managers.