How do I Create a Hiring Policy?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2019
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A hiring policy is a formalized set of guidelines used to give information about the practices a company uses when hiring new employees. This document usually includes information about what documents are required to obtain a position, which departments handle the hiring of employees, and what criteria are considered acceptable for consideration during hiring. Not every business has a formal hiring policy, but most large ones have very clear documents concerning this topic with information about a wide variety of situations. A hiring policy can be used to ensure that hiring practices are fair and that all potential employees are treated equally. In order to create a hiring policy, all one needs to do is formally identify and record the way in which new employees are properly hired, making sure to include all relevant legal information.


Creating a hiring policy is usually the job of a human resources department, although other parties may be responsible for this document as well. The goal of the document should be to elucidate for potential employees and other relevant parties how employees are chosen. Of course, fallible and opinionated humans are always responsible for selecting the most promising candidates, but the methods by which the selections are made can be covered by the document. For example, if the first person who sorts through potential candidates is one particular employee, and then the top picks from the general pool are passed on to another employee, that kind of information should be included in the document.

A hiring policy should also include information on what kind of information will be obtained from any potential employee and what documents the employee will be expected to sign if formally hired. For instance, if a criminal background check or a credit check is performed on potential employees, that should be included in the hiring policy. The number of references an employee will be expected to provide, which professional certifications are expected, and how this information should be submitted are all useful pieces of information to include in a hiring policy.

While a company may never experience problems with discrimination, it is still important to include information about unfair hiring practices in the policy. Even if no employee ever experiences unfair treatment, having the relevant information in the policy may protect the company from legal trouble. Also, formalizing this information informs parties who do not know about these laws that certain criteria are not relevant to hiring.

When formally composing the policy, it may be best to sort the information into categories. Information about how candidates can find open positions might go in one section, while information about how candidates who have been rejected will be notified might go in another. Many people find that composing the document in an orderly, numbered list rather than paragraphs makes the document easier to read. This document may be used both by employees and non-employees, so it is best to keep the document very formal. In some cases, legal parties may inquire into the contents of the document, so one should think very carefully about what information is included in the policy.


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