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. One of our employees filed a sexual harassment complaint against another worker. After interviewing both parties, we are unable to resolve the credibility conflict. We asked the accused co-worker to take a polygraph exam, but he refused. Can we fire the employee for refusing to take the lie detector test?
Besides implied contracts, federal laws, state statutes and court decisions are chiseling away at the at-will doctrine as the number of wrongful-discharge suits spirals higher. Here’s why:

You can help lawsuit-proof your hiring process by relying on strength in numbers. Have two company representatives sit in on interviews. Then have both reps deliver the news when you have to tell an applicant she wasn’t selected. That’s insurance against a drawn-out he said/she said lawsuit.

Disputes between co-workers and between employees and their bosses are almost inevitable—which is why every HR professional must know how to gather the necessary facts to find out what’s going on. Take some time to think about and plan your inquiry even for simple, seemingly routine issues. If the situation is complicated or raises a red flag about possible legal claims, a well-planned investigation can be critically important.
The contentious tax law signed by President Obama last week brings tax savings to workers nationwide—and contains several provisions that will affect HR. Here's a round-up of various elements—from Social Security withholding to tuition reimbursement to on-site child care—that you'll have to deal with when the law takes effect on Jan. 1.
Your organization likely tracks the individual performance of current new hires to determine their contribution. But most employers don’t measure and compare the aggregate performance of new hires year after year. There are different approaches to measuring quality of hire, but these two are among the most effective and widely used, according to HR consultants:

You may never see it coming: A disappointed applicant sues you after you give the job to someone else. However, you can be prepared—if you have held onto all documents and materials related to the hiring process. If you wind up in court and need to show why you didn’t select an applicant, those records may provide the rationale.

When she first stepped into a leadership position, Anne Berkowitch, co-founder and CEO of social-networking company SelectMinds, believed she should be like a military general. Now, she says, she envisions the way you steer a boat. “If you think about how you steer a boat, it’s always from the back,” she says, “and I’ve moved toward the back of the boat.”
Have you ever thought of not hiring an applicant because he or she had previously declared bankruptcy? Maybe you thought that was discriminatory. But a court last week said, “Don’t worry.” Private employers won’t violate the U.S. Bankruptcy Code if they refuse to hire. But firing based on bankruptcy status is another story…
Reading every word on every résumé simply isn’t a luxury HR professionals can afford. If you quickly scan résumés, however, you probably live in constant fear of discarding potential winners. Advice: Spot-read résumés during the first round to determine if they merit a more detailed review.
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