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Better Comply with Hiring Laws Using Knowledge Management


Guest blog by Josh Brown with Helpjuice

For large and small businesses alike, the hiring process continues to grow more complex as time goes on.

On top of finding the right candidate for your job, you also need to maintain regulatory compliance throughout the recruitment process. Failure to do so can not only lead to major fines and sanctions for your business but can also cause your organization’s reputation to suffer for years to come.

Of course, it’s not enough to simply be aware of these issues. You have to ensure your hiring team actually follows these regulations at all times. Moreover, you need to be able to prove your hiring team has done their due diligence after the fact. This is where strategic knowledge management comes in.

How to use knowledge management in your hiring

At Helpjuice, we define knowledge management (KM) as, “The systematic management of an organization’s knowledge assets for the purpose of creating value and meeting tactical & strategic requirements.”

  • A KM approach focuses on sustaining and enhancing the storage, assessment, sharing, refinement, and creation of organizational knowledge.

While strategic KM can be beneficial to your business in a variety of ways, here we’ll be talking specifically about how it will help you maintain compliance throughout the hiring process. Let’s get started.

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Document and communicate hiring laws and regulations

One of the biggest challenges of maintaining recruitment compliance is that the laws are evolving at an ever-increasing pace. Because of these rapid changes, many HR professionals report spending up to 20 hours a month just on researching new rules and regulations. With so much to keep track of, this process alone can be overwhelming to your team.

Your first order of business, then, is to ensure your recruitment team can easily stay abreast with changes in compliance laws. This means ensuring your team:

  • Knows where to find the information they’re looking for via external resources
  • Documents pertinent law changes within your internal knowledge base
  • Communicates these changes to all team members as necessary

The idea is to systematize this process of discovery and documentation in order to streamline it. While it will still be an involved process, your team will end up spending much less time looking for the necessary info — and much more time putting it to good use. Speaking of which …

Also document and improve your whole hiring process

If you haven’t developed a concrete process for recruiting and hiring new employees, you have very little chance of maintaining regulatory compliance. But, by creating standard operating procedures for your hiring team to follow at all times, you can all but guarantee things always remain above board.

This applies throughout the process of recruiting and bringing aboard new hires. At any given moment, your team should be able to identify what they’re doing to ensure compliance, or how their processes adhere to applicable compliance regulations. Again, though:

  • If you haven’t standardized your processes, your team’s efforts to maintain compliance will often come down to guesswork. Even though they may know what needs to be done, it’s all too easy to overlook a crucial step that could cause your company to run afoul of the law.

A few examples:

  • Neglecting to include equal opportunity information on a job posting
  • Failing to collect applications from a specific source
  • Asking biased questions — even unintentionally — during an interview

One of the main goals of knowledge management is to document your team’s various processes in order to standardize and optimize your workflows.

For our purposes, this means:

  • Creating templates for your job postings that include the required legal information
  • Maintaining a database of sources to advertise job postings and collect applications from
  • Developing comprehensive interview scripts that adhere to regulations — and that can be modified as appropriate based on role and/or location

More than just creating this documentation, strategic KM is about communicating said information effectively throughout your organization. That way, your HR team can always be in compliance — while also making the absolute most of their recruitment efforts.

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Maintain records of compliance with hiring laws

This goes along with the above but focuses more on the importance of proving that you’ve maintained compliance throughout a specific hiring instance.

In many cases, maintaining a record of your recruitment and hiring processes is actually part of remaining compliant, in itself. Even if not required by law, though, you still want to be able to easily prove your compliance should your organization be chosen for an audit.

On top of creating standardized workflows, knowledge management also involves documenting and storing incoming information throughout these processes.

Focusing on the hiring process, this means maintaining records such as:

  • A breakdown of your applicants’ demographic information (e.g., age, gender, race)
  • Interview questions that were asked of each candidate — along with their responses
  • Your team’s rationale for moving forward with a given lead (and not choosing others)

Again, these records will prove that you’ve done your due diligence in terms of complying with state and federal employment laws. At the very least, if you’ve overlooked something, you can prove you’ve put effort into improving — and are continuing to make tangible strides toward — 100% compliance.

On that note, these records will also give your team an objective understanding of their recruiting performance — and what changes need to be made to further optimize their efforts.

While regulatory compliance should always be your organization’s first priority, you should also be thinking of ways to attract better job candidates — and do so more effectively.

Bottom line: Strategic knowledge management can keep your entire recruitment team “in the know” with regard to regulatory changes to hiring laws, manage records of recruitment and hiring instances, and make improvements to your hiring process as needed.

With JazzHR as your applicant tracking system, you can ensure your organization remains compliant with all hiring laws — and streamline and speed up your recruiting cycles. Book a demo to learn more.

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