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Recruiting: Federal

Recruiting requirements by state

Authors: Anthony J. Oncidi and Rachel Fischer, Proskauer Rose LLP; Julianne Apostolopoulos, formerly of Proskauer Rose LLP


  • Employers can recruit applicants for open job positions using a variety of methods, including employee referrals, press advertising, online postings, social media websites, professional organizations and job fairs. See Methods and Sources.
  • When advertising for available jobs, employers should refrain from using language that discriminates against applicants based on protected characteristics such as sex, age and disability. Employers may use discriminating language if there is a bona fide occupational qualification for restricting job applicants to a smaller group of people. See Advertising Dos and Don'ts.
  • Companies should use caution in advertising that only English may be spoken in the workplace. English-only rules may be discriminatory on the basis of national origin. See English-Only Rules.
  • Though not currently prohibited at the federal level, discrimination against the unemployed is an issue receiving increased attention. See Discrimination Against Unemployed Applicants.
  • Using social media in the recruiting process can be a useful tool in gathering information about job applicants. However, employers should be careful in using information they find online. Even when information accurately reflects a job applicant, an employer may be setting itself up for future discrimination claims if it makes an employment decision based on information that it may not legally use in the hiring process. See Social Media.
  • Before entering into a working relationship with an independent contractor, employers should be aware that there are significant risks involved in misclassifying workers, and many federal and state agencies are stepping up enforcement on this issue. See Outsourcing and Independent Contractors.
  • Some employers may find it useful to outsource certain administrative tasks to staff acquired through employee leasing agencies. Employers choosing this option should be cautious in balancing the desire to minimize their legal responsibilities and obligations to the leased employees with the need to supervise and control them. See Employee Leasing.
  • Federal law prohibits the hiring of illegal aliens and imposes on employers the obligation to verify that employees are authorized to work in the United States. However, employers cannot discriminate on the basis of national origin and thus must be sure not to prevent lawfully authorized workers from applying. See I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification.
  • Employers that recruit underage workers must be aware of a host of federal and state laws limiting the hours and types of work such employees may perform. Employers may be subject to liability if they do not properly train their minor employees in safety, discrimination, harassment and other policies in a manner that they can understand. See Recruiting Underage Workers.