Prevention, Form Updates, and Interview Tips
Updated: Mar 17
March 2020 Edition
PPR experts provide insight on trending topics from the past month.
Everyday Prevention for Respiratory Viruses
With news of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., employers, and employees both need to take reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of this and any other respiratory viruses like the flu. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are a few simple preventive actions to help control the spread of respiratory viruses.
Avoid coming into close contact with people who are sick.
Don’t touch your face unless you have just washed your hands, including your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
If you are unable to wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
The sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol.
If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
In addition, employers should try to accommodate employees who have concerns about traveling for work.
Whether it is to China or any other destination, some employees will be apprehensive of traveling anywhere, due to the fear of getting a virus on the plane. Also, employers should accommodate concerns from those at the highest risk of mortality from infection: older employees, employees who are pregnant, and ones with immunodeficiencies.
Employers would need to seek legal counsel before restricting any employee from coming back to work during the incubation period of 14 days, after traveling outside the U.S. There could be valid claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that people should not be excluded from activities based on their race, country of origin, or recent travel (if they do not have symptoms of respiratory illness). Finally, as with any illness, employers should never identify anyone with a health issue.
Here are resources to learn more about the coronavirus and aid in informing employees:
New I-9 Form for 2020
In our October Newsletter, we mentioned the expiration of Form I-9. The I-9 form is used to make sure workers are eligible for employment. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently released a new version of the Form I-9 that will be required for use beginning May 1.
The new version contains minor changes to the form and its instructions.
Revised the Country of Issuance field in Section 1 and the Issuing Authority field (when selecting a foreign passport) in Section 2 to add Eswatini and Macedonia, North per those countries’ recent name changes. (Note: This change is only visible when completing the fillable Form I-9 on a computer.)
Clarified who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer
Updated USCIS website addresses
Provided clarifications on acceptable documents for Form I-9
Updated the process for requesting paper Forms I-9
Updated the DHS Privacy Notice
Please click here for the new version of the form and let us know if we can assist in any way.
Quick Tips for Better Interviews
In a tight job market, employers need to prepare when it comes to the interview process. You want anyone who comes in contact with your company to leave with a good impression. Maintaining a good reputation with candidates can add to your resources for future roles. A few simple tips can help make your company successful in building relationships with candidates and building a strong candidate pool.
Take time to review the applicant's resume. Pay attention to their accomplishments and expertise.
Develop interview questions ahead of time.
Make sure you are asking questions that bring out the qualifications of the candidate that will match the position.
Make sure to provide the candidate with as much information as possible to be sure the position will be a good fit.
See if the culture matches the values of the candidate.
Be respectful of the candidate's time by being punctual for the interview. There is no excuse for keeping candidates waiting. You can be sure candidates will share this on the internet.
Be conversational and genuine. Try and put the candidate at ease.
The interview should flow like a conversation rather than an interrogation. Fluctuate your voice - and be sure to smile.
Focus on building trust and try to make sure the candidate's experience is a positive one. A positive experience will give them an idea of the culture and keep the candidate interested.
Be sure to have the recruiter do the first interview to begin developing the relationship and mold the candidate's experience.
Maintain a high level of communication with the candidate throughout the interview process. Never leave them wondering what is happening.
Stay fresh and don't become stagnant in the interview process. Listen to your hiring managers and follow through on any feedback.