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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Are you considering using personality or other screening tests to decide which job applicants to hire? If so, make sure you fully understand what you are doing and how those tests work. There are plenty of companies eager to sell you tests and assessments that they say will take some of the work out of the screening processes. But if those tests aren’t valid and end up screening out members of a protected class, you may be buying more than a test.

Q. Several recent hires have suffered work-related injuries shortly after starting to work for us. As a result, our workers’ compensation premiums have soared. Our CEO, in an effort to avoid this problem, has directed managers to hire only “careful” workers in the future. Is this legal?
Q. We want to hire an applicant, but received a letter from his employer stating that working for us would violate a confidentiality agreement he signed with that employer. Since he doesn’t have a noncompete agreement, can we hire him?
Q. A deceased employee’s spouse has asked us for copies of personal e-mails that were on the employee’s work computer. Can we provide her copies?
Q. My company leases employees from an agency. Can we claim the HIRE Act tax breaks for these workers?
Question: My boss has promoted me, and I now manage five people. He wants me to do performance evaluations, but I have no idea what these employees’ salaries are. He feels that I don’t need to get involved in the “money” side of things. How can I establish my authority if I’m not given sufficient information to manage these people?
Q. Our software company is considering hiring a Canadian citizen for a computer systems analyst position. Does the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) allow us to hire this individual?

In a recent article, we pointed out several tax benefits for hiring a spouse. But your “better half” isn’t the only family member you can add to the payroll. Strategy: Give your children after-school jobs. By doing so, you can reduce the overall family tax bill and also avoid adverse "kiddie tax" consequences.

Good news for large corporations means bad news for small business owners: Instead of going after the big fish, the IRS is spending more resources on the small fry. A new study shows that the IRS reduced the number of hours agents spent auditing large corporations by one-third since 2005 and increased the hours spent on audits of companies with assets of less than $10 million by 30%.

If you’re truly looking for the best candidates, they’re sometimes the ones busy in their cubicles, while their résumés are sitting in cyber space. Low-cost “résumé mining” services can save HR time and money by searching online résumé databases for candidates that match specific qualifications. Here’s how résumé mining services work: