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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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Q. We want to hire an applicant, but received a letter from his employer stating that working for us would violate a confidentiality agreement he signed with that employer. Since he doesn’t have a noncompete agreement, can we hire him?
An Applebee’s restaurant in Fayetteville is facing an EEOC sex discrimination lawsuit after managers allegedly reneged on a promise to promote Amanda Antisdel to a bartending position and then hired a less experienced man instead.
Q. A deceased employee’s spouse has asked us for copies of personal e-mails that were on the employee’s work computer. Can we provide her copies?

Are you considering using personality or other screening tests to decide which job applicants to hire? If so, make sure you fully understand what you are doing and how those tests work. There are plenty of companies eager to sell you tests and assessments that they say will take some of the work out of the screening processes. But if those tests aren’t valid and end up screening out members of a protected class, you may be buying more than a test.

The Illinois General Assembly has been busy, passing legislation that HR professionals need to know about. Specifically: the Employee Credit Privacy Act, which prohibits many Illinois employers from basing hiring, promotion and other employment decisions on the credit histories of employees and job applicants, and the Wage Payment and Collection Act, which protects employees who have not been paid all their wages.

Many employers are discovering they have many—perhaps dozens—of well-qualified applicants for each opening. That may leave some perfectly qualified applicants wondering why they weren’t picked. Don’t fret about selecting the applicant with the best résumé. While you may be sued by another applicant who believes some form of discrimination must have been at work in the selection process, that lawsuit won’t go far.
Q. Our company would like to review applicants’ credit information when we make hiring decisions. Can we do this?

Common sense says that if a manager hires someone knowing that she belongs to a protected class, the manager probably won’t turn around a few months later and fire the new employee because she belongs to that protected class. That’s why you should make it a policy that the same managers who make hiring decisions also make termination decisions.

Q. Several recent hires have suffered work-related injuries shortly after starting to work for us. As a result, our workers’ compensation premiums have soared. Our CEO, in an effort to avoid this problem, has directed managers to hire only “careful” workers in the future. Is this legal?
Q. My company leases employees from an agency. Can we claim the HIRE Act tax breaks for these workers?
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