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3 Steps to Take When Preparing Employee Contracts

On behalf of Steven Waldinger

Are you ready to start hiring new team members? This article shows you how to get the most out of your employee contracts.

As a hiring specialist or business supervisor, it’s vital that you take care when hiring new employees. You want your company to be the best, which is why you painstakingly interview, research, and talk with each potential candidate before bringing them on as employees with your organization. Before you finalize their employment, however, you’ll need to complete employee paperwork with each new hire. Employee paperwork and contract agreements may seem overwhelming; however, there are three important steps you can take to prepare employee contracts in a way that will be both beneficial and effective for you and your team members alike.

1. Be as specific as possible.

One of the primary goals of a contract is to ensure that both you and your employees understand what is expected of them. When you provide your team members with detailed information, you’ll be less likely to encounter situations where someone didn’t understand what was expected of them. Generally, your contract should include specific information, such as the length of the employee’s employment, how much time off they will receive from work, and benefits agreements. Additionally, you may choose to include other information that is job-specific to the position you’re hiring for. The key is to include specific dates, times, and numbers, rather than generalities that may be misunderstood.

2. Decide whether you will have a confidentiality agreement.

In some cases, you may want to include a confidentiality agreement in your employee contract. If you are working with sensitive information or you have a highly competitive company that is conducting research or working on developing new software, programs, or technology, a confidentiality agreement may be essential to ensuring that your team members don’t reveal valuable information to competitors, even accidentally. Confidentiality agreements may be included directly in new employee paperwork. Make sure you answer any questions your new employee has about this prior to hiring them, as some new hires may not be familiar with this portion of the contract.

3. Negotiate the terms of the position.

Before you finalize the contract for your employee, make sure you negotiate the terms that are contained within it. Some employees may have specific concerns or desires they’d like to talk about with you, and depending on your level of flexibility in regards to these terms, you may be open to negotiation. For example, perhaps an employee wants a higher starting pay rate or perhaps they want a different number of vacation days. Don’t be afraid to be flexible in some ways in order to build your dream team; however, any changes or adjustments you verbally agree to should be included in the contract for both your own and your employee’s protection and understanding.

Always have your employee contracts reviewed by an attorney who can help you analyze and evaluate the contracts. Your attorney understands exactly what verbiage and content is important in contracts and can help ensure that you protect yourself, your company, and your employees by creating effective contracts.