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.

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?

When it comes to sex-based stereotyping, some industries are more resistant to change than others. The “company culture” may be a bastion of outdated beliefs about what women can and cannot do. Decision-makers may not even fully understand that their preferences for hiring employees of one gender can create liability. If that’s the case where you work, you may want to use the following case to explore that corporate culture—and then push to change it.

New York-based accounting and consulting firm Deloitte has found an easier way for job-seekers to determine whether they’ll fit into the company’s culture before they submit applications: by placing employee testimonials in Internet social media channels.

As unemployment continues to hover near 10%, the temptation to stretch the truth on a résumé is becoming harder for desperate job-seekers to resist. That’s why experts say job applicants are doing more “creative writing” on their résumés these days. And hiring managers need to be more vigilant. Some tips:

HR Law 101: Many organizations use pre-employment tests to screen applicants. But be aware of the risks involved. Unless you can demonstrate that a test measures job-related qualities and fulfills a business necessity, you could be exposing your organization to charges of discrimination ...

Remind everyone involved in the hiring process: It’s much better to pick up the phone to discuss a candidate than it is to send an e-mail. E-mails can be recovered (and used as evidence in court); phone calls cannot.
The IRS last month published the forms employers need to claim payroll tax breaks offered under the new HIRE Act. The forms include a new Form W-11 (HIRE Act Employee Affidavit) and a revised Form 941 (Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return).