You likely know the dos and don’ts of screening job applicants for physical symptoms of COVID-19. But what are your rights and responsibilities when it comes to determining candidates’ attitudes about working during a pandemic? You don’t want to hire someone have them ghost you or quit after a week because they’re afraid to come to work.
A few steps can help ensure you hire people who will stay and function comfortably during this pandemic and beyond:
- Strive for transparent hiring. Be honest about your expectations. Have a solid job description that clearly outlines duties and responsibilities, as well as workdays and hours. If it is necessary for the person to work solely onsite, state that upfront. If remote work is possible, be clear about how and when this will be possible. If you know that remote work won’t be possible, don’t be vague or disingenuous about it just to attract a candidate. Instead, talk about why they need or want remote work and how you might be able to compromise (for instance, providing help with childcare or transportation).
- Respond to requests for special consideration. If a new hire requests to work remotely, consider any Americans with Disabilities Act requirements that would prohibit to person working onsite, the measures the organization has implemented to keep employees safe, and how flexible you can be with the position.
- Be prepared to admit when it just won’t work. If for logistical or other reasons, the work simply can’t be done remotely, you may decline to hire applicants who refuse to work at the company’s location.