U.S. Recruiting & HiringReading Time: 4 minutes
One of the most challenging aspects of expanding operations in a new country is finding the right employees to help your business succeed. As you begin recruiting and hiring in the United States, you’ll need to learn all the local employment laws and comply with them throughout the process.
Recruiting in the United States
Expanding to a new country is an exciting yet time-consuming process. Before you start, you need to understand the cultural and business norms that could impact the hiring process. Here are three things to know about American workplace culture.
1. Varied Small Talk
Many Europeans don’t commonly share personal information at work, while Latin Americans tend to share very intimate details throughout work hours. U.S. work culture combines both, and an employee’s level of openness will vary. While recruiting, you may find that some employees are more open about their family or activities outside of work, while others stick to short greetings and business discussions.
2. Casual and Fair Atmospheres
Workplaces are often casual, with managers going by their first name and talking with employees about their personal lives. This behavior applies to all employees regardless of their position, as fairness and equality are crucial. Men and women are also treated with the same level of formality.
It’s best to take your cues from the person you’re interviewing. If they address you as sir or ma’am, you can correct them and ask that they use your first name. While many workplaces call for casual dress, job candidates may dress more formally before integrating into the office environment.
3. The Importance of Culture Fit
Many managers look for candidates who will fit with the office culture. Doing so is often a way to screen out certain candidates without violating the Employment Act. To avoid this violation, make your definition of “culture fit” neutral, and tailor it to your company’s goals. Candidates should meet these goals without falling into any specific demographic categories.
Potential employees may know that American managers are looking for a particular type of person and tailor their responses to meet your ideals. Staying neutral will help you understand candidates for who they truly are and make the most informed hire.
The Recruitment Process in the U.S.
Staffing and recruiting laws will impact your hiring process and the success of your company. For example, you cannot discriminate against an applicant or employee based on race, color, religion, sex, age, or disability. If you do, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can investigate discrimination charges.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is in charge of administering the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which applies to unions and employers in the private sector. The NLRB will prevent and fix unfair labor practices of labor organizations and employers.
The Department of Labor, a federal agency, is also responsible for enforcing labor laws.
To comply with the agencies above, you must avoid certain interview questions while staffing your company, including anything about:
- Family, such as whether the candidate has children or is married, engaged, or planning a family
- Sexual orientation
- A disability or injury
- Personal appearance
You should also avoid language in your job postings that limits eligibility to individuals with citizenship. For instance, you shouldn’t say that the job is open only to U.S. citizens, H-1Bs, green card holders, or those with U.S. birth certificates.
Some federal laws, including EEO laws, govern background investigations. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) both apply to consumer credit information, which you may ask for from a candidate.
Keep in mind that relying on these checks alone can lead to discriminatory hiring practices. Some state laws can overlap with federal laws while others do not, so it’s best to check the requirements related to obtaining consumer credit reports, keeping personal information safe, retaining records, and checking criminal histories before making an employment offer.
How to Hire U.S. Employees
The United States does not have a legal requirement for employment contracts. Instead, most companies define their relationship with employees as employment at will. Under at-will employment, companies can terminate employment at any time for any legal reason.
While most companies do not have employment contracts, they do offer new hires a written job offer that outlines the terms and conditions of their employment. The terms are largely up to the employer, although they are subject to state and federal laws — including laws against discrimination.
Employees should sign their agreement to the job offer to avoid any future issues. In the contract, you should outline terms such as:
- Paid time off
- Termination and severance requirements
What Laws About Employment Exist in the United States?
Employment laws vary significantly from one state to the next within the U.S. However, there are some standards that all companies must follow at the federal level, such as:
- Wage standards: The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. That said, some states enforce a higher minimum. Certain states also require higher wages for overtime, which is typically defined as more than 40 hours per week.
- Protections against discrimination:The U.S. has several laws to prevent discrimination in the workplace. Employers cannot discriminate against employees based on race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability.
- Termination requirements:For the most part, employers can terminate workers for any reason without legal liability. However, they cannot terminate employment based on any of the protected characteristics outlined above.
How to Onboard Employees in the U.S.
Every company takes a different approach to onboarding, and your process will depend on the nature of the work your company does. You should start by figuring out what kind of training and support your new employees will need to succeed in their roles. Many companies onboard employees in groups to make the process as efficient as possible.
You should put together a detailed schedule for each employee’s first week on the job. If you can, you should travel to the United States for the first day of the onboarding process. You might also want to:
- Go over the terms of employment with each worker on their first day
- Offer insights on the company culture and expectations
- Familiarize employees with the tasks they’ll perform from day to day
The Advantages of Outsourcing Hiring for the U.S.
With so many laws and regulations to keep in mind as you expand your business in the U.S., outsourcing the hiring process can take a significant burden off your shoulders. At Globalization Partners, we’ll deal with hiring and U.S. employment compliance so that you can focus your energy on managing your business. You won’t need to set up a subsidiary, which means you can start conducting business in the U.S. right away.
When you’re ready to expand your business abroad, Globalization Partners will be here to help. Contact us today to learn more.