As an employer, you need to pay careful attention to your team of employees. When hiring new talent, you must ensure you find the perfect candidates for your available roles.
You must also consider your hiring process. When you hire an employee, you have the option of hiring them ‘at will’. Similarly, you can undergo a termination of an at-will employment arrangement when you decide to let one of your workers go.
In this article, we’re going to cover what an at-will employee is and whether you should hire at-will employees for your workplace.
What is an At-Will Employee?
An at-will employer refers to a person who is hired with the knowledge that their employer can dismiss them at any time for any reason or for no reason whatsoever. This differs from contracted employment, where employment laws and regulations protect the employer.
When you hire an employee at will, you can dismiss them from their role if you wish to do so without the employee being able to take legal action against you for their dismissal. The employee won’t be able to claim for unlawful or wrongful termination.
At-will employment works both ways. On the other hand, hiring an at-will employee means they can quit their job without providing a notice period or an explanation for doing so.
Should You Hire Employees At Will?
There are pros and cons to hiring at-will employees and it’s important to consider both sides of the coin when you’re hiring new talent as an employer. Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of doing so to help you decide which is the best choice for your company.
Pros of hiring at-will employees
- At-will employment provides increased flexibility compared to contracted employment. You’re more able to maintain the company culture and work environment that you want and build the perfect team to move your business forward.
- It’s easier to terminate at-will employees, as you can do so without going through the legal termination process or providing a specific reason.
- The risk of an employee taking legal action against you is much lower when you’re dismissing at-will employees.
- It costs less money to fire an at-will employee than it does to dismiss a contracted employee because you can skip the long legal process of contract termination. You can invest the money you save into staff recruitment, training, marketing, or purchasing new company resources.
Cons of hiring at-will employees
- At-will employees are more likely to quit at short notice if they find a better job elsewhere. They’re also more likely to be less motivated to work hard and contribute positively to your company culture.
- There is a risk of discrimination when an employer focuses on at-will employees only. Plus, if you dismiss an at-will employee based on a protected characteristic, you could face legal action.
- It might be more difficult to attract top talent to your company if you only offer at-will employment, as candidates will be concerned about their job security.
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