Top 5 don’ts when recruiting an employee

Date: 2006
Author: Daniel A. Lublin
Publication: Metro
When does an employment interview involve more than just landing the job?
Good talent is hard to find, especially with the unemployment rate at a generational low. With the scales of supply and demand tipped heavily in the employee’s favour, it’s no wonder many companies are looking to their competition to recruit the next big rainmaker. But, to those companies a little too eager to close the deal, and to those over-ambitious employees a bit too willing to jump ship: stay mindful of the following 5 recruitment mistakes so that you can keep your checkbook in your pocket and your business/career on course.
Negligent misrepresentation
Untrue, inaccurate or misleading statements made during an employment interview can come back to haunt an employer. In the typical case, a dismissed employee will sue for a lost opportunity or a quantifiable hassle where bogus statements about the nature or security of the new position enticed him or her to take that job.
Inducement from a secure position
Employees actively lured to leave a secure position to join another organization can sue the new employer for significant damages if they are dismissed within a short period of time. Ultimately, whether an employee was induced to leave previous employment, or was an all-too-willing seducee, is a matter of fact to be determined by the judge. If inducement is proven, the new employer will be on the hook for the employee’s past service.
Inducement of breach of contract
An employer may have a claim against another company who induces an employee to breach his or her employment contract. On the other hand, an employee can sue when another party caused his or her employer to end the contract. Although remote, these types of claims are likely to appear more often in the coming years.
Unchecked or untruthful references can be a source of potential liability for both employers and employees. Employers can be sued for giving a false or bad faith reference and even for failing to do their due diligence when checking up on a new recruit who later causes damages to another organization. Similarly, employees sometimes embellish their references and, if caught red-handed, have almost certainly sealed their fate.
Human rights violations
The laws most often violated at interviews concern questions prohibited under human rights legislation. As a general rule of thumb, valid questions are those that are directed solely towards the candidate’s qualifications and suitability for the position. Any direct or indirect questions relating to an individual’s age, motherhood status, race, place of origin, religion, sexual orientation, or other prohibited ground are clearly in violation of human rights laws.