Talent Acquisition for Growing Business Part 3: Source, Interview, Job Offer
Updated: Apr 10, 2022
How to Hire an Employee
Growing businesses can handle the recruitment and hiring process and find the best candidate while remaining compliant with Texas and federal employment laws. This is the third segment of our Talent Acquisition blog series that guides growing business in talent acquisition. Check out Part 1 of our talent acquisition blog series to learn how to create a job description and job post. Part 2, will help you with learning how and why every organization should collect demographic data, how to create a job application, and document retention. In this final segment of this blog series, we provide guidance on how to source, interview, extend the job offer, and communicate with those not chosen.
You can enhance your candidate search with sourcing. Sourcing is the process of identifying, researching, generating, and networking with potential job candidates in order to convert individuals into job applicants. The broader task of talent sourcing is to generate a consistent flow of highly-skilled applicants.
Carrying on with the theme of diversity and compliance with employment laws from Part 1 and Part 2 of our talent acquisition blog series, SpruceHR recommends casting a wide net for applicants to increase the chances of a better hire which includes, reaching diverse candidates.
You can achieve this in many ways, such as:
Promote an employee from within your organization.
Ask employees for referrals.
Share your job post with your professional networking site then ask your connections to hit the like button so it will share to their networks.
Search for qualified candidates on job board sites then send them an invitation to apply for the position.
Advertise the job post online: Job boards, your company website, HR Consulting website
Advertise your open position with Texas public employment service: Workforce Solutions centers and the Texas Workforce Commission: WorkInTexas.com. The EEOC and the TWC Civil Rights Division consider posting a job on WorkInTexas.com and at with local Workforce Solution centers to be evidence of an open and fair hiring process.
Share your open position with local Chambers of Commerce: Houston has chambers for many diverse groups and in SpruceHR’s experience, chambers appreciate the opportunity to share open positions with their membership.
In Texas, there are no specific laws that obligate private employers to post jobs in any particular way. SpruceHR recommends the advertisement for your position remain open and visible for at least two weeks. This allows ample time for candidates to apply and reduces discrimination in hiring.
As applications are received, you can start pre-screening applications and resumes to determine if the candidate meets the basic requirements for the position. This will allow you to either eliminate or determine if they will be invited move forward in the hiring process. Keep in mind that Texas and Federal employment laws apply to job candidates as well. In this phase of the hiring process, it means if you determine that a candidate is not qualified but then you hire a candidate that doesn’t meet that qualification as well, that could be considered discrimination in hiring. An example of this is rejecting a candidate due to not having a bachelor’s degree but the person hired doesn’t have one either. Documentation on why every decision is made and at which point in the process is crucial to minimize risk of violating employment law.
As your job advertisement is still active, you can also start the interview process. SpruceHR recommends starting with a pre-screening telephone interview that usually lasts 20 to 30 minutes and includes questions designed to eliminate candidates who are not eligible for consideration. Phone interviews are a quick, lower-cost alternative to conducting a first-round interview in person. An initial phone conversation can give you a great deal of information about a candidate's overall communication skills, sense of humor, ability to listen, attitude, and professionalism. During the call, you can first try to determine if a candidate has the right education, experience, and knowledge to do the job. You can also learn the candidate’s motivation for applying for a particular job to make sure he or she has realistic expectations. Please reference the section below about employment law – interview questions.
SpruceHR recommends to ask the same set of questions to each candidate interviewed. Again, this decreases the chance of discrimination in hiring. There are many approaches to creating your list of interview questions. Situational, behavioral and competency-based interview questions are widely utilized. The type of position determines the appropriate style of interviewing. If you’d like guidance with creating interview questions, please reach out to us.
After the pre-screening telephone interviews are complete and the job advertisement (post) has expired, you should have narrowed the candidate pool. The next step is to schedule in-person interviews or via video conference. In this phase, SpruceHR recommends, again, to ask the same set of questions to each candidate interviewed to decrease the chance of discrimination in hiring.
At this phase, the candidate pool should be easily narrowed further. SpruceHR recommends at least two interviews, preferably three. Why? On different days, people have different mind-sets and attitudes. A third interview could solidify your decision or change it. Also, having someone else interview the candidate could provide a new perspective.
Employment Law- Interview Questions
Unless there is a bona-fide occupational qualification or statutory or regulatory requirement involved, do not ask about an applicant's race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin or citizenship, disability, or genetic information.
Examples of topics and questions you shouldn’t ask and are impermissible according Texas and federal employment laws (Please note that this list is NOT all-inclusive):
Have you ever been arrested?
An HR best practice recommended by the State of Texas: if possible, do not ask about criminal history until the tentative offer of employment has been made - that will lower the risk of discrimination based on criminal history for the majority of unsuccessful applicants.
Do you have any handicaps or disabilities?
Under the law, an employer may not ask disability-related questions and may not conduct medical examinations until after it makes a conditional job offer to the applicant.
Can employers ask job applicants about vaccination and COVID-19? Yes, but tread lightly. For more information read this article: https://www.sprucehr.com/post/employers-should-be-cautious-when-asking-about-employee-vaccination-status
What is your military discharge code? - any military discharge question is not advised
Do you have children? (This would be permissible if the job duties directly require the employee to be a parent.)
Are you a U.S. citizen?
Are you a ______________ (member of a specific type of religion)? (This is permitted only if the job is with that specific type of church, and the duties relate to carrying out the mission of that particular church or faith.)
Are you married?
What are your family plans?
Do you own a car?
Do you own a house?
Extending the Offer & Acceptance
Finally! Time to get your ducks in a row. Refer back to the job description you created from Part 1 of our Talent Acquisition blog series. Create a comprehensive offer letter on company letterhead. Be sure to indicate that the job offer is contingent on a successful background check, verification of employment, and/or drug screening - if these are requirements. You should include the start date, total rewards details, PTO, holidays, supervisor name, and any other relevant information. Then, call the candidate to make a verbal offer and send the offer letter via email at the same time. This allows the candidate to review the letter on the call or shortly after. Your communications may be through email but the initial phone call or voicemail is professional.
Agree upon a start date, then update the offer letter with the start date and any changes if negotiations are involved. Send the final offer letter via email and ask them to sign, scan, then return. Once you receive the signed and dated copy, its time to start onboarding. Onboarding, is a future SpruceHR blog. If you would like guidance, please contact us.
Your last step in the talent acquisition process is to inform those not chosen for the position. SpruceHR encourages you to use empathy and compassion when rejecting candidates. People applying for your open position could be in great need of securing a position. Learning they have not been selected can be disappointing but it is a necessary step. Ghosting, or never following up with them, should never be an option.
It’s a good practice to wait to at least a week to reject a candidate. Rejecting a candidate too soon can be perceived as a little harsh. After all, how you treat candidates is part of your employment brand. Every candidate you don’t hire deserves a kind email rejection.
Here is an example: Thank you for your online application for the XXX position at Your Company Name.
Although we found your qualifications impressive, there are candidates whose backgrounds more closely match the requirements of this position. We will keep your resume in our database for consideration should another position become available for which you qualify.
We appreciate your interest in Your Company Name and wish you every success in your career pursuits.
Your Name or Company Name Recruitment Team
Need some help? SpruceHR is equipped with a comprehensive library of job descriptions, applications, and forms related to talent acquisition available à la carte that can be customized by you. We can customize any document or form for you as well.
SpruceHR is a human resource consulting firm that is here to help your organization maximize the potential of your greatest asset, your employees.
Note: We strive to keep information in our blogs current. This blog was created May 2021 and information shared may be incorrect in the future due to changes in employment law. Please contact us with any questions.