Hiring

When hiring employees, negligent hiring practices can doom the process. Learn from your colleagues’ successes – and avoid their pitfalls.

Smart interview questions, well-written job descriptions, and sharp interviewing result in hiring employees that work out well, AND make you look good in the process.

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HR professionals must make sure that supervisors hear this message loud and clear: Don’t make any assumptions about what a pregnant woman can or cannot do. Voicing such presumptions and taking action based on them virtually guarantees a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.

President Obama’s State of the Union address on Jan. 27 outlined a broad agenda of tax provisions that are intended to breathe new life into the economy. The overall idea is familiar: take more from taxpayers at one end of the financial spectrum and distribute it to some at the other end, using a series a tax provisions. Here are some highlights of Obama’s proposed changes:

Nothing speeds a disappointed job-seeker’s trip to court like a selection process based on an employer’s use of subjective criteria to make the hiring decision. That’s especially true if the biggest deciding factor is subjective, while objective factors receive lesser weight.

Sometimes, you have to take a chance on a job applicant because the candidate pool isn’t filled with as much talent as you would like. Everyone knows picking a marginal candidate can turn out to be a mistake. If you find you have to terminate such an employee, have the same person who made the hiring decision also make the termination decision. That reduces the chance of a costly discrimination lawsuit ...

Q. Are there any circumstances where an employer can justify considering a prospective employee’s disability in making hiring decisions?

Q. We’re a nine-physician medical clinic, and we employ a salaried business manager. Her duties include personnel, hiring, firing and office work. We don’t give her comp time or overtime pay. If she takes a partial day off, she must use vacation time (paid time off). Are we handling this correctly?

This recession seems to have an upside: Employees are behaving better. Don’t get too excited; the uptick in ethical behavior is probably temporary. Still, HR pros and organizational leaders can try to keep the upswing going. The best way to do that is to make creating an ethical culture a business priority. Here are a few recommendations:

University of Alabama Professor accused of fatally shooting three colleagues and wounding three others. Last week's headlines of the newest workplace shooting serve as a stark reminder to employers of their legal obligations to ensure their staff is safe and free from violence — but how?

In 2011, the first of the baby boom generation will turn 65. As the rest of the roughly 70 million baby boomers follow, we’ll see a major shift in the age of our society—and our workforces. To survive and thrive in the face of these new demographic realities, employers will need to retain employees well older than the traditional retirement age of 65. Here are some areas on which employers will need to focus to help retain older workers:

The EEOC has cited national convention marketing firm Freeman Companies with discriminatory hiring practices based on the company’s use of applicants’ credit scores and criminal background checks in hiring. The EEOC alleges the company’s hiring practices have a disparate impact on minorities and women.