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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Though an interview can tell you a lot about a person, his or her references can be the real key to unearthing whether the employee is a fit—but only if you’re obtaining valuable insight from them. Here are six ways to beef up your reference checks:
Q. I have received several résumés that do not include a home address. Is this a red flag?
As a recruiting tool, more employers have begun including a sentence or two about the typical career path of the job at the end of each job listing.

Q. I understand there are lots of questions we can’t ask during interviews. But what if the applicant brings up the subject? For example, if she mentions that she just had a baby, can I ask if she’s made child care arrangements? If a person is coming from out of town, I may ask why. If they say “boyfriend/girlfriend,” can I ask if it’s a permanent move?

When you have several good applicants for a job opening, picking the best-qualified candidate isn’t easy. While you should be as objective as possible, the final decision can have a subjective element. Just make sure you document a good business reason to back up your choice.

Q. When, if ever, can our company legally ask an applicant about his or her religious affiliation?
Stevens Transport, a Dallas-area trucking company, has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle EEOC charges that it refused to hire a paraplegic man for a management position due to his disability.
Marymount Manhattan College’s refusal to hire a 64-year-old choreography instructor for a tenure-track position has left the New York City liberal arts school tap dancing around age discrimination charges.
The EEOC is investigating the Marylou’s Coffee chain, looking into its apparent practice of hiring attractive young women. According to the Fisher Phillips law firm, “the EEOC’s big adventure raises a troubling question: Is the EEOC trying to establish that it’s illegal for an employer to prefer attractive employees over unattractive ones?”
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned many of the provisions in a controversial 2010 Arizona immigration law. The impact, according to the Foley Lardner law firm, could be a chilling effect on state immigration laws.
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