04/27/18 By PeopleTactics

The employment application is a standard document for any recruiting process. Having applicants complete the employment application at the onset of the recruitment phase is important. Equally important is making sure it is up-to-date on the ever-changing employment laws. Here are a few “must haves” for employment applications today:

Remove Salary History Questions

Although legislation has not passed in every state, taking a proactive stance on the matter of pay transparency and equity should be top of mind for employers. 11 states (including the commonwealth of Puerto Rico) have already enacted pay transparency laws that either prohibit or limit an employer’s ability to ask about salary history prior to extending an offer (CA, DE, IL, LA, MA, NJ, NY, OR, PA, PR and WI). Instead, employers need to determine a compensation figure based on the applicant’s worth to the company rather than what she made in a previous position. Even if your state is not listed above, removing this question from your employment application is a great way to show your support for pay transparency and equity.

Remove Background Check Questions

Ban-the-Box laws, which refer to questions related to criminal history, have been in effect for some time now in many states across the country. However, even asking if an applicant will submit to a background check on the employment application is a no-go. Given the confidentiality of the background check process, best practice is to make any questions pertaining to your background check process a stand-alone document.

Include Anti-Harassment & Discrimination Language

The employment application is not only a chance for you to collect vital information on your applicants, but it is also an opportunity to communicate your stance on critical company policies. Here, we generally think of including an At-Will clause. However, given the social climate today, including your Anti-Harassment and Discrimination stance is a great opportunity to communicate these values up front.

Having an up-to-date employment application is a critical element to any effective recruiting strategy. For more information on specific state or local employment laws that may impact your employment application, be sure to check out the Department of Labor – Wage & Hour Division website as well as your state wage and hour website to learn more.

Need assistance developing a recruiting strategy that is effective and compliant? Contact us or give us a call at 703-587-5615. We partner with our clients to ensure they have the best HR strategies in place. We’d love to do the same for you.