The following is a summary of topics covered in FindLaw's Hiring Process section, with crucial information to help job seekers protect their best interests. See FindLaw's Guide to Hiring [PDF] for a printable brochure.
Applying for a Job
There are a number of legal and practical considerations to make when applying for a job. These include being completely truthful on your application and making sure you have both professional and personal references available, among others. And remember: it is illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of gender, pregnancy, race, color, religion, disability, age, or national origin. This means non-employees may sue prospective employers for discrimination as long as they have solid proof.
From a practical perspective, however, most applicants who are discriminated against and thus denied an interview won't find out. Similarly, some employers may discriminate against applicants based on information gleaned from their social media accounts. Because of this, you should always be careful what you post online.
The Job Interview
When you are called in for an interview, make sure you learn as much about the company and the position as the employer will want to learn about you. After all, employment is a relationship meant to benefit both parties. Do extensive research about the employer and be ready to explain why you're the best fit for the job. Also, you may want to write down any questions you'd like to ask the interviewer in advance.
Other tips for job interviews include:
Job Offers and Negotiations
If all goes well, you may be called in for additional interviews. At this point, the employer most likely has decided that you have the proper qualifications for the job but wants to make sure you're the right fit. If these follow-up interviews go well, you will be offered a job. But you don't always want to take the first offer. In fact -- as with other negotiations -- the initial offer is often lower in anticipation of a higher counter-offer.
You also want to go beyond just compensation (which is important, of course). If your role, day-to-day responsibilities, or time requirements are not clearly laid out, then this is a good time to get clarification. You may also want to find out about job advancement opportunities at this point.
Choose a topic below for more in-depth information -- both legal and practical -- about the hiring process.
Information about increasingly common "at-will" employment, how it affects the typical employee's job security and options, what rights it confers to both workers and employers.
A handy chart outlining the key differences between independent contractors and employees, including the differences in tax treatment, length of employment, and wage and benefit considerations.
As more companies look for ways to save money, many choose to hire independent contractors instead of full-time employees. Independent contractors are paid by businesses for providing services -- like consulting or work on temporary projects -- but t...
It has become a common practice for employers to include an employment arbitration agreement in most employment contracts these days, but many employees are unsure about what they are signing. If you have signed an employment contract in the past 15 ...
Many jobs come with an employment contract, or a related compensation agreement. Find out what these typically contain and cover so you can be prepared for that initial negotiation and get the best offer possible.
Employee background checks are a vital way for an employer to learn more about the applicant, but can also be a source of potential liability. The Internet has made it much easier to obtain both personal and professional information about job applica...
After applying and interviewing for a job, hopefully the next step for anyone looking for work will be a job offer. Still, this isn't always the end of the line in the hiring process. Even in desperate economic times, not every job offer is worth pur...
Amidst the angst of writing cover letters, polishing resumes, and preparing for job interviews , spending time on employment references may fall by the wayside. But judging by the expert advice given by career counselors and employers alike, job refe...
A look at the law surrounding the hiring process and what prospective employees should be aware of when interviewing, such as certain job requirements and working conditions.
Unfortunately, women are often subject to certain forms of employment discrimination -- even before being hired for a job. Despite warnings to the contrary, some employers ask inappropriate questions during the job interview process that border on il...