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.

Companies everywhere are scrutinizing their payrolls and full-time employee head counts with an eye toward cost-saving measures ... and independent contractors. Just be aware that you'll need a concrete policy for managers to steer clear of the IRS and legal headaches in hiring outside workers.

The HR pros at Columbia, Md.-based database marketing company Merkle have a recruiting slogan: “It’s not rocket science: Treat your employees well and they’ll return the favor.” To that end, the 1,100-employee firm offers “dream grants” to employees, which pay for individuals or groups of colleagues to take an adventure.

In today’s economic climate, you may be tempted to forgo hiring a temp to fill in for an employee who’s out on FMLA leave. But what will you do if the employee returns to a huge pile of work left undone during her absence? Think twice before you tell her to “catch up or else.”

If you want your organization’s employees to work more productively, pay more attention to them. During the economic crisis of 2009, the most effective business strategy turned out to be increased supervision and management of employees.

You can find an abundance of golden career advice on these blogs: BrazenCareerist.com, SimplyBlog, On the Job by Anita Bruzzese and CareerDiva.


Employers typically don’t want to hire applicants who haven’t succeeded elsewhere. So they sometimes create a blanket “no-hire” rule for applicants who aren’t eligible for rehire by their former employers. Such a policy can give you cover against possible retaliation complaints. But if you’re tempted to draft such a policy, be careful: Make sure you enforce the rule uniformly.

Sometimes, the best lessons are learned from the worst examples. That’s often the case with HR management. When employers make big mistakes and have to pay for them in court, other employers with good practices—that maybe need just a little tweaking—can discover what not to do.

One side effect of the recession: Cash-strapped employees are eating more processed and fast foods and exercising less, studies show. All the more reason for employers to maintain or even expand funding for employee wellness programs. As your organization watches every dollar it spends on benefits, consider the latest research on what’s working when it comes to employer wellness programs.

The new HIRE Act provides a couple of key payroll tax breaks for employers that hire new employees. If your company hires a “qualified employee,” the business is exempt from the employer’s 6.2% Social Security tax portion of the FICA tax on the employee’s wages for the rest of 2010. Plus, the company is entitled to a new tax credit if it keeps the worker employed for at least 52 consecutive weeks.

Q. We require all applicants to complete a pre-employment screening form that asks for their date of birth. The firm that conducts our background checks needs that information to perform the screening. Does this practice run afoul of laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of age?