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Hiring and Terminating Employees

Recruiting employees

Advertise the position, including the job title, general responsibilities, minimum skills, education required, application deadline and whom they should send a resume to.

Screening candidates

  • Pay attention to a candidate’s:
    • career objective – or the lack of
    • duration of previous employment and holes in work history 
    • education and training
    • skills and expertise proven by past and current work
  • Consider asking key employees to review and rank applications.  
  • Interview all candidates that meet the minimum qualifications.

Selecting an applicant

  • Send the job description to candidates before the interview.
  • Interview the candidates.
  • Ask all candidates the same questions. 
  • Make sure all questions relate to performing the duties of the job. 
  • Ask candidates about their salary and benefits need/expected.
  • Ask open-ended questions, not "yes-no" questions. 
  • Don't ask questions about:
    • race
    • nationality
    • age
    • gender
    • disabilities (current or previous)
    • marital status
    • spouses
    • children and their care
    • criminal records
    • credit records
  • Always contact references, including previous employers.

Hiring new employees

Provide an offer letter, specifying:

  • start date
  • compensation
  • benefits
  • probationary period
  • attached job description

If a candidate accepts, have them sign the offer letter and return it to you.

Include in their personnel file:

  • signed offer letter
  • tax withholding forms
  • job description
  • benefit forms 

Consider a 6-month probationary period.  (Make sure to update your personnel policies to describe your probationary conditions.) A probationary period allows you to fire an employee during the first six months if you have concerns, and it greatly decreases the chances you will be sued for wrongful termination.

Equipping new employees: 

Develop an employee orientation checklist:

Send your new employee a welcome letter verifying the start date.

On the first day:

  • meet your employee to explain the training process
  • introduce staff 
  • sign benefit and tax forms
  • review employment policies and manual
  • tour the facility
  • take your new employee out to lunch and invite other employees

During the first week:

  • plan content-specific trainings
  • schedule one-on-one conversations with other staff
  • meet to review the job description and specific position goals
  • explain the performance review process and documents (provide a copy)

Screening and Interviewing Applicants:
Selecting (Hiring)and making the Job Offer to New Employees:


How do I terminate employees?

Your agency must have a progressive corrective action policy, and you must follow every step if you need to terminate an employee.  

Your corrective action policy must: 

  • provide a process to tell employees in writing of performance problem(s) 
  • designate a period of time employees have to correct performance 
  • define problems (theft, violence) that require immediate termination
  • outline the process for termination if employees don’t improve 

Ask a board member with HR expertise to review your policy.

During the process:

  • ask a board member to attend corrective action conversations
  • be as polite as possible
  • document every step, as a defense against possible lawsuits