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.

While 30% of nearly 600 employers surveyed by Towers Watson report that employees are less engaged in the organization than before the financial crisis, another 28% of employers believe employee engagement has actually risen during the recession.

The first rule of negotiating a raise is to make it easy for your boss to say yes. That means anticipating objections and addressing them in advance. Smart negotiators rarely say, “I want more money.” Instead, they use facts to drive home their valuable contributions. Here’s how to prepare for your next salary review:

With the enactment of the Franken Amendment to the Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2010, Congress and the Obama administration have begun an assault on employers’ use of mandatory arbitration as an alternative to court trials for resolving workplace disputes and claims. Employers have been asking whether other alternatives to jury trials will exist in the absence of arbitration. One alternative that companies can consider: entering into waivers of civil jury trials with their employees.

Some employers don’t want to hire applicants who haven’t succeeded elsewhere and create a blanket no-hire rule for any applicant who isn’t eligible for rehire by a former employer. If you’re tempted to do the same, make sure you enforce the rule uniformly and don’t make exceptions.

Q. We would like to hire an applicant who used to work for a similar company, but he has a noncompete agreement with his former employer. We think the noncompete is way too broad—it lasts for three years and prevents him from working anywhere in the country—and we do not believe the work he will be doing competes with any activities of his former employer. Can we go ahead and hire him?

If you’re considering hiring inmates through a work-release program, carefully weigh whether you will have to pay them as regular employees under the FLSA, or whether you may be able to pay them less. According to a recent 5th Circuit decision, prisoners specifically sentenced to hard labor may not be covered by the FLSA. Their employers may pay them less than minimum wage, and they’re not eligible for overtime pay.

Some discrimination cases have a way of resurfacing even after you thought you had settled the matter. That can happen when the litigious employee reapplies for work. If you’re going to settle a case, consider including a clause that guarantees the former employee will never apply again. That might have been prudent in the following case:

Q. In our experience, employees who take public transportation or rely on rides from others are more likely to be tardy to work than those who own their own vehicle. Therefore, before hiring an applicant for employment, we would like to make sure the applicant has a reliable method of transportation to work. Would it be appropriate to inquire, for example, whether the applicant owns a vehicle?

Smart employers have well-developed and organized hiring and promotion processes. Not only do they have them, they follow them carefully. That’s critical because when people don’t get jobs they want, they often suspect discrimination. And then they sue, whether they have a good case or not.

The company that owns the Beauty Smart chain of salons in Henderson, Oxford and Durham has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to end what the department called “pattern and practice national-origin discrimination” that violated the Immigration and Nationality Act.