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how to select the best employees -- legally.

By Andrew l. Jones

Three simple steps allow employers to select the best employees legally through proper recruiting and pre-employment testing practices.
  1. Use published advertisements in addition to word-of-mouth recruiting. Word-of-mouth recruiting which results in a lower percentage of qualified minority applicants than expected for an employment area could support a strong case of discriminatory hiring under Title VII; therefore, use published advertisements which include the job description and required qualifications in race, sex, age, national origin, religion, and disability-neutral terms. Also remember that the phrase "equal opportunity employer" does not cure discriminatory language in a published employment advertisement.

  2. Use employment applications in addition to resumes. Well-drafted employment applications contain questions that relate only to the job position and language that insulates the employer from discrimination and invasion of privacy claims. Employers should either use a different job application for each job position or add a disclaimer to employment applications used for more than one job position. For example: "The employer uses this application for multiple job positions; therefore, some questions contained herein may not relate to the job position for which you are applying. If you choose to answer such questions, the employer will ignore your responses for hiring purposes."

  3. Use pre-employment personality tests. Knowledge of personality traits can be evaluated as indicators of how successful an individual may be in certain situations and for various employers. A well-designed, well-implemented personality test can help find the best fit between employer and employee -- without raising discrimination and privacy issues.

  4. An original author of the EEOC's Uniform Guidelines on Employee Hiring Procedures, specifically designed the questions of the MindData Attitude Indexes for work place application. As part of a federal court's adjudication process, these evaluations were found to be in complete compliance with national guidelines and requirements regarding non-invasiveness and non-discrimination.

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Andrew L. Jones, a Dallas-based business litigator, is 2001-2002 President-elect of the North Dallas Bar Association. Mr. Jones litigates employment, personal injury, and contract cases for a variety of businesses. His law practice web site is

Mr. Jones holds the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Government from the University of Texas at Austin and the degree of Juris Doctor from Baylor University School of Law. Mr. Jones is licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Texas and has been admitted to federal practice in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
In addition to practicing law, Mr. Jones is the Director of Marketing for Affordable Access, Inc., a nationwide employee benefit legal service plan. Affordable Access, Inc.'s web site is

Mr. Jones also serves as Director of Stag Financial Group, Inc., an international management and financial consulting firm which helps companies evolve from the development stage into profitable, operating entities. Stag Financial Group, Inc.'s web site is

The opinions expressed in articles by this author do not necessarily represent the opinions of MindData. These articles are provided as a means of informing you of current events and opinions that impact employers and the workplace.

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