Whether you’re a pest management professional seeking work or a pest management company looking to fill a position, the interview is a critical step in the hiring process. But some questions are off limits.
Kylie Luff, senior vice president and managing partner of human resources management firm Seay Management Consultants, discussed the hiring process at a presentation during the National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA’s) 2017 Legislative Day event. She said asking the wrong questions while conducting a job interview could violate federal and state laws, putting you and your company at risk for legal action and fines.
When it’s time to fill a position, set reasonable requirements, she stressed. A job listing could be viewed as discriminatory, depending on your education or physical requirements. Stick with the essential responsibilities and skills needed to succeed.
During a job interview, you cannot ask — or should not answer — questions related to the following:
- Race, ethnicity or color
- Marital status
- Family status, pregnancy or childbirth
- Religion (although you can ask which days a candidate is available to work)
- Sexual orientation
- Country of national origin or birthplace
- Citizenship (although you can ask if the candidate is legally eligible to work in the United States)
- Smoking (although you can disclose your company is located in a smoke-free building)
- Drinking or illegal drugs (although you can disclose your company is a drug-free workplace and conducts random drug tests)
- Disabilities (although you can ask if the candidate can perform the essential functions of the job)
- Criminal record (although you can ask if the candidate was ever convicted of a crime, particularly if it is a question on the job application)
- Workers’ compensation claims
If you plan to conduct a background check, you must ask the job candidate to sign an authorization form.
Luff suggested checking the references of all applicants. “No job offer should be made until references are checked,” she said.
If you’re not sure what you can and cannot ask — or answer — during the interview process, seek expert advice. Luff’s company offers consulting services to members of the NPMA.