Skip to content

Hiring the “Right” Employee

By Lisa Gallivan

Employees can be your biggest asset, if you hire the right people. This can often be one of the biggest decisions that you make as a business owner or employer. The “right” employee will be key to the success of your business and the “wrong” employee will bring cost and difficulty to you workplace. That is why it is important to keep the following points in mind when hiring, and firing, employees:

  1. Know your candidate. Always interviews your employee personally. Ensure that proper and thorough reference checks and any other checks necessary for the position (e.g. criminal background check) are completed. Know what background checks you can request, limitations on questions you can ask and what social media searches you can perform.
  2. Structure the relationship. Both employer and employee should be clear about the structure of the employment relationship. Is your employee full-time, part-time or a term employee? Will the employee work in a specific department? Who will the employee report to? How will the employee be paid? Will there be a probationary period?
  3. Have a contract in writing. An employment contract can be as simple as a letter of offer so long as it sets out the obligations of both the employer and the employee. Key clauses will include termination and notice provisions and any restrictive covenants or other limitation clauses that are required. Proper drafting prior to hire will ensure enforceability if the clause must later be tested.
  4. Communicate your workplace policies. Policies will only protect you if your employees are aware of the policies. For this reason it is essential that new employees sign a copy of each policy or a policy handbook provided to them.
  5. Keep your employees safe. Provide training and instruction on workplace requirements (attire, procedure, etc.), especially those designed to ensure employee safety and be sure to highlight any potential hazards specific to your workplace.
  6. Use restrictive covenants when appropriate. If your new employee will have high-level access to your clients or classified information about your business, consider including a non-solicitation or non-competition clause in your employment agreement. Proper drafting of such clauses will be key to ensuring that you may rely upon them if necessary in future.
  7. Know when it is time to terminate. Employees can be terminated for just cause or can be terminated without cause if reasonable notice is provided. Do not let floundering employees linger. Make tough decisions in a timely manner.
  8. Know your Human Rights responsibilities. Employers are required to accommodate individuals with illnesses, disabilities or other characteristics protected by statute. Termination may not be appropriate until multiple forms of accommodation have been attempted or until it is clear the employment contract has been frustrated.
  9. Know how much notice is required. Employees terminated without cause are generally entitled to common law notice, unless the contract of employment has limited the liability in this regard to the statutory, or a higher, minimum. Common law notice is based on a number of factors including age, length of service, position, other available jobs, etc. A properly drafted clause in your employment contract can help you to limit the amount that must be paid at the end of the employment relationship.
  10. Document, Document, Document. Documents relating reason for the termination and the employer’s decision to terminate should be kept, including original notes from interviews with employees.
SHARE

Archive

Search Archive


 
 

Compensation for expropriation: Fair, but not more than fair

June 17, 2024

By Erin Best, Stephen Penney, Robert Bradley, Megan Kieley1 and Elizabeth Fleet1 Expropriation is a live issue in Canadian courts. The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to broaden the test for constructive expropriation in Annapolis…

Read More

Changes affecting federally regulated employers

June 10, 2024

By Killian McParland and Sophie Poulos There have been many changes in recent months affecting employers governed by federal labour and employment laws. In September 2024, Stewart McKelvey will be hosting a webinar to review…

Read More

Impending changes to Nova Scotia’s Workers’ Compensation Act – Gradual onset stress

June 4, 2024

By Mark Tector and Annie Gray What’s changing? Currently, workers’ compensation coverage in Nova Scotia applies to only a narrow subset of psychological injuries. Specifically, in Nova Scotia – as in all Atlantic Provinces –…

Read More

Appeal Courts uphold substantial costs awards for regulators

May 22, 2024

By Sean Kelly & Michiko Gartshore Professional regulators can incur substantial costs through discipline processes. These costs are often associated with investigations, hearings as well as committee member expenses and are an unfortunate by-product of…

Read More

Less than two weeks to go … Canada Supply Chain Transparency Reports are due May 31st

May 21, 2024

By Christine Pound, ICD.D., Twila Reid, ICD.D., Sarah Dever Letson, CIPP/C, Sheila Mecking, Hilary Newman, and Daniel Roth Introduction The first reports under the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act (the…

Read More

Court upheld municipality’s refusal to disclose investigation report

May 1, 2024

By Sheila Mecking and Sarah Dever Letson A recent decision out of the Court of King’s Bench of New Brunswick,[1] upheld the Municipality of Tantramar’s decision to withhold a Workplace Assessment Report under section 20(1)…

Read More

Occupational Health and Safety sentencing decision – Nova Scotia

April 29, 2024

By Sean Kelly & Tiegan Scott Earlier this month, the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia issued its sentencing decision in R v The Brick Warehouse LP, 2024 NSPC 26, imposing a monetary penalty of $143,750 (i.e.,…

Read More

Canada 2024 Federal Budget paves the way for Open Banking

April 22, 2024

By Kevin Landry On April 15, 2024, the Canadian federal budget was released. Connected to the budget was an explanation of the framework for Canada’s proposed implementation of Open Banking (sometimes called consumer-driven banking). This follows…

Read More

Reset for renewables: Nova Scotia overhauls energy regulation and governance in advance of influx of renewable energy

April 5, 2024

By Nancy Rubin and James Gamblin The Government of Nova Scotia has embarked on a path to dramatically reshape the regulation and governance of the energy sector with the passage of Bill 404, the Energy…

Read More

An employer’s guide to human rights law in Atlantic Canada

April 2, 2024

By Kathleen Starke and Annie Gray Human rights landscape Human rights legislation prohibits discrimination in specific contexts, including employment and the provision of services. In all Atlantic Provinces, Human Rights Commissions are responsible for enforcing…

Read More

Search Archive


Scroll To Top