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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When hiring a new leader for your team, it’s essential to interview his or her direct reports so you can smoke out any nasty surprises. People learn what they want in a leader by finding out what they don’t want. If you encounter any of these responses, probe around:

Employers that hire outside firms or investigators to conduct employee investigations and background checks must make sure those vendors strictly comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Failing to do so can result in substantial legal risks, including damages, penalties, fines, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees awards.

Do you assign points or scores to rank candidates during their interviews? If so, do you explain in writing why the applicant received each score? A new court ruling says you’d better back up those numbers with an explanation or you might just lose points in front of a jury if you’re sued for discrimination.

Although summer is officially right around the corner, there’s no vacation from tax planning. If you’re dedicated, you’ll be able to bask in tax savings as the weather heats up. Here are seven prime examples:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry last week signed a safety law long sought by unions to protect train crews who are transported by vans between job sites. The law requires contract carriers to screen van drivers for drug and alcohol use and to maintain at least $1.5 million in liability insurance.

Rather than ignoring social media or dismissing them as just another passing pop culture fad, smart employers use social networking websites to recruit new hires, appeal to customers, and engage employees.

While you may not have been partying much at the office lately, some employers see summer as an ideal time for an all-staff get-together. Instead of spending a lot on flowers and glassware rentals, get creative with these summertime themes.

Q. How long after employees have left should we retain their files? And if we shred the files, do we have to keep a record of employment date, termination date and any other information?

If you’re like many managers, your top priority when hiring employees is making sure they can do the job. Sounds simple, right?

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 gives small business owners a second chance at a “one-time” tax-saving opportunity. It revives the enhanced Section 179 deduction and “bonus depreciation” tax breaks that officially expired after 2008. These two tax goodies can be combined so that your small business can write off most, if not all, of the cost of new assets placed in service this year.