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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Sometimes, you really do need to recruit someone from outside the organization—someone who may already be earning more than you usually pay your employees. When making a hire like that, make sure you document why you chose to top existing salaries, especially if the new hire is the opposite sex of any incumbents.
Who’s your No. 2? In a small business, having a person to oversee day-to-day operations can help fend off burnout for a business owner. In any business, though, a chief needs a second-in-command. This is an ideal time to hire one, says Daniel M. Murphy, co-founder of The Growth Coach. What to look for?
Following past recessions, hiring typically took place across the age spectrum once recovery began. Not this time. The Great Recession and its hiring hangover have hit older workers particularly hard. That’s sure to mean more lawsuits. Employment lawyers smell blood and will soon be going after employers they perceive as having policies biased against hiring older workers.
Work is usually a “family affair” for small business owners. Typically, your spouse will pitch in whenever and wherever help is needed. Strategy: Officially put your spouse on the company payroll. If you employ a previously unemployed spouse, your company may be eligible for the new HIRE Act tax breaks. But even if you don’t qualify for the HIRE breaks, there are at least six potential tax benefits for the taking.

If the unsteady economy doesn’t improve during the next six months, one in four HR professionals say their organizations are “very likely” to respond with wage freezes, according to a new poll. What's your Plan B if the recession double-dips?

As part of the hiring process, supervisors are sometimes called on to check an applicant’s references. Those phone calls can help you accurately assess a person’s strengths, weaknesses and past job performance. But checking references can also be challenging—and legally tricky. Here are six guidelines for soliciting information without bumping into legal issues:

Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, who represents the 15th District of Texas in Congress, recently announced that the Justice Department has awarded $59,546 to fund a project aimed at reducing employment discrimination against Texans authorized to work in the United States regardless of their national origin.
Balance Staffing’s short-sighted treatment of a visually impaired recruiter will cost it $100,000 to settle a disability discrimination suit.

The new health care reform law gives mothers the legal right to express breast milk at work. But that’s brought a new problem to the fore: co-workers—or even supervisors—making jokes or inappropriate comments about the practice. Remind everyone that lactation is no joking matter. Otherwise, you could have a sexual harassment case on your hands.

Junior Revels, age 76, has been a diesel mechanic for a long time. So long, in fact, that when he applied for a job at Southern Metals in Charlotte, the company flat out told him it had decided to hire someone younger. Bad move.

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