Hiring new staff can be one of those daunting tasks that business owners either fear or flee. 

However intimidating the hiring process may be (on both sides), mastering the Employment Contract is necessary to form a healthy working relationship from the start. Employment contracts set out the terms of the entire employment relationship. 

The contract can outline the entitlements, obligations, and restrictions of both parties. As a safeguard, our guest speakers from Williams HR Law and Williams HR Law Consulting helped us understand the implications of a property versus a poorly drafted employment contract that also supports both employee and employer —at our last video webinar series, “Building The Right Employment Contract”.

Key things we’ve learned:

How Agreements Provide Value (4:25 Mark)

  • They communicate legal expectations entitlements, rules, obligations, and benefits

  • They provide certainty to the parties

  • They protect the employer’s valuable assets

  • They modify terms implied by common law

  • They allow for predictable termination costs

Employment Brand Perception (10:29 Mark)

A company may not have considered how their brand integrity and the Candidates experience during the hiring process are interconnected.

Did you know Glassdoor reported:

70% – Turn down a job if their first impression is sub-standard (i.e. waiting in the reception too long, poor follow-up etc.)

26% – Tell family and friends not to apply to that company

25% – Have stopped purchasing or purchased less from a brand because of a negative candidate experience

Pre-offer Considerations (13:14 Mark)

There is value in how you present even your very first email sent to a Candidate. Now, with the rise of Artificial Intelligence (aka Applicant Tracking Systems), your recruitment process could lack human engagement. In addition, having a recruiter in place for all hirings can further decrease the opportunity to establish a relationship early on. Which could possibly lead to missing out on the best talent!

And other things we should consider:

  • Are your job descriptions laid out in full to avoid over-promising a role?

  • Has there been enough time for the candidate to consider the presented offer?

  • Who will be the key contact/resource for the candidate?

  • Highlight any onboarding plan to set them up for success.

This was a jam-packed webinar! We couldn’t possibly dismantle it in one blog post.

Therefore, as an easy reference guide and to determine if it’s worth 69 mins of your time (WHICH IT IS), we’ve broken down each section spoken about in the presentation. And leaving the explicit legal jargon to the professionals, offered by Williams HR Law (Joel Smith, the Lawyer) and Williams HR Consulting (Lisa McFarland, the HR Practice Leader). Each is labeled with the exact time marker of the topic section in the video.

  1. Consideration for New Agreements – so you’re not legally hogtied in the future (17:13)

  2. Duties and Responsibilities – wording your agreement to protect it against becoming an outdated drink coaster (23:00)

  3. Probationary Period – learn if ESA (Employment Standards Act) requires you to dish out termination pay during an employee’s first 3 months (24:32)

  4. Confidentiality – how to protect your most valuable trade secrets without looking like a distrustful super-villain (26:28)

  5. Termination – dodge vague or ambiguous language to compile with the ESA (27:54)

  6. Temporary Layoff – reserve the right to layoff vs. a dismissal under an ironclad agreement (30:20)

  7. Suspension and Discipline – exercise your right to suspend due to misconduct without causing irreparable damage (31:20)

  8. Company Policies – make them bindable and amendable (32:57)

  9. Restrictive Covenants – wade through the murky waters of non-competition and non-solicitation clauses (34:07)

  10. Other Provisions to Potentially Include – manage all the perks, bonuses and commission an employee can and will request (37:01)

  11. General Provisions – address covenants of former employers and how to move forward on a clean slate (37:58)

  12. Salary Negotiations – how both parties can come out winners and what’s this new Pay Transparency Act!? (39:02)

  13. Revisions to Existing Agreements – what new sweet perks you can swing to keep your A-players happy and the retention rate high (47:15)

  14. Strategies and Best Practices – set firm contractual terms and the upside to being legally reviewed periodically to stay protected (50:46)

Now, watch this 69-minute video for all your questions to be answered.