How to hire employees in Oregon

Oregon enjoyed one of the strongest job markets in America before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as the state seeks to recover from that event, its people are eager to get back to work. There’s a large pool of talent for prospective employers to draw from, but it’s also necessary to pay close attention to labor laws, state employment requirements and the expectations of potential employees in the state if you want to make an effective hire. When you know you’re ready to grow your team in Oregon, here’s how to hire employees in the state.


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Registering as an employer

The first step in your hiring process is to register at the federal and state levels as an employer.


You’ll need:

This, of course, is over and above any other registration forms required to establish a business in Oregon. You can find guidance for the bigger picture through the Oregon Secretary of State.


Check local areas before your post your job

Before you start to advertise a position, you need to know what you can afford and what the standard salary is in Oregon for the kind of work you’re offering, along with the level of time commitment and experience you’re expecting from candidates. If what you’re offering is too low by comparison with your other expectations, you may find it’s a struggle to generate interest.


You should also ensure that any job you’re posting provides benefits, tools and resources, and levels of autonomy and responsibility that are commensurate with what workers in Oregon will expect from a position of that level.


If your company doesn’t yet have a reputation in Oregon, be sure that your posts mention your track record in your industry and with your employees elsewhere. If you’re starting out and making your first hire, clarify your company’s vision, mission and values with specific emphasis on creating a positive work environment.


Link to city stats and research postings on Indeed Analytics

A tool for employers seeking to track how a hiring campaign is going, Indeed Analytics provides a deep dive into the data of your hiring process. It can tell you which job postings are performing best, and where, in the state of Oregon. Get familiar with Analytics tools before you launch your hiring process and you’ll be well-equipped to overcome obstacles or tweak your job postings for better performance.


Look at sample job descriptions and check them against other postings

Checking out sample job descriptions can give you a starting point for structuring the descriptions of your particular positions. You can even use such samples as a beginning framework to modify for your own specific needs and situation.


Assess candidates in Oregon

Once your job posting has begun to attract a stream of candidates, the process of assessing which candidates will be best for the role begins. Some of the key factors in evaluations for most positions are:

  • Technical skills and core expertise for the role
  • Communications and interpersonal skills
  • Education and certifications
  • Personal, ethical and aspirational fit with the role and your company

In roles that require working with a wide variety of people at all levels of management, or leading teams and projects, having the right communications skills and personality fit for the company can make the difference between two candidates who are otherwise evenly matched in terms of their core skill set.


Consider expanding your search to remote candidates

Remote work became a larger share of the workforce than ever before during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and although many people are now returning to the office, a significant number of people in Oregon are likely to continue to work remotely. In particular, positions that require high levels of education are often likelier to be adaptable for remote work. If this describes the position you’re posting, it may be worth considering remote candidates in order to broaden your options.


Follow Oregon hiring guidelines

Oregon law prohibits hiring processes and HR practices that discriminate based on age or marital status, race or color, national origin or religion, and sex or sexual orientation. It’s important to avoid interview questions that might violate laws against discrimination.


An introductory guide to human resources law, rules and best practices provides a starting point for compliance, but this doesn’t take into account all the state and federal laws, collective bargaining agreements and administrative rules that could apply to a position. Make sure to get a comprehensive overview of the rules that apply to you before proceeding.


New hire forms for Oregon

The state of Oregon has specific requirements for forms and informational pamphlets that need to be presented to new hires at the beginning of the onboarding process. These include federally mandated forms such as filling out the first section of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form for their first day of work. You’ll need to complete the second section of that form by the end of their third day. You’re required to keep this on file for three years from the date you hired them or (if it’s later) for one year after their date of termination.


This is just one of a number of new hire forms that new hires will need to fill out as part of the onboarding process. Some are federally mandated, while others are state-mandated, as for programs relating to workers’ compensation. Familiarize yourself with these requirements for Oregon so your onboarding covers all the bases.


New hire reporting in Oregon

There are also specific new hire reporting requirements in Oregon. They include the Oregon New Hire Reporting Form and following the full requirements of the Oregon New Hire Reporting Program. Again, it’s important to be familiar with these before you build the onboarding process for your company.


Payroll in Oregon

There are plenty of moving parts involved in implementing payroll in Oregon. For example, the state of Oregon provides specific guidelines for payroll taxes that include an online payroll tax reporting system and a relatively recently implemented statewide transit tax.


Oregon also has its own specific workday, minimum wage and hours-worked definitions and requirements. The state has specific definitions of requested work and a rule requiring that employers that don’t want an employee to perform work specifically request that they don’t do so, for example.


This guide does not provide legal guidance. It’s incumbent on new employers in Oregon to be compliant with all the necessary labor laws regarding wages, working hours and days and other basic labor rights.


Posting signs in Oregon

Finally, employment in Oregon requires the posting of specific signage in the workplace acknowledging the labor laws and rights in force. The basic requirements for all employers are, federally:

  • An “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law” poster
  • A poster for the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act
  • A Federal Minimum Wage poster
  • A Federal Polygraph Protection Notice
  • A Federal USERRA (military rights) poster

And state-specific to Oregon:

  • An Oregon Breaks and Overtime Poster
  • An Oregon Equal Pay poster
  • A poster for the Oregon Family Leave Act
  • A poster for the Oregon Minimum Wage (and another for the Oregon Minimum Wage 2021-2022)
  • An Oregon OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) poster
  • A poster on Oregon Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence, Harassment, Sexual Assault & Stalking
  • An Oregon Sick Time poster

These are expected to be multi-lingual in at least English and Spanish (and often Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Arabic and Russian as well). The requirements for larger employers and agricultural employers are considerably broader. You can find the full details at the above link.

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