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.

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).

E-Verify, the online tool employers can use to check the work-authorization status of new hires, wrongly clears illegal workers about 54% of the time, according to a study commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security. “Many unauthorized workers obtain employment by committing identity fraud that cannot be detected by E-Verify,” said the report by research firm Westat.

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.

The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the Title VII lawsuit clock resets each time an employer uses apparently biased job-qualification tests to make hiring decisions. Lewis v. Chicago recharts the litigation calendar, while recalling two other landmark Supreme Court cases.
Elevate the clarity of your writing by using the inverted pyramid style that journalists use ... Go ahead, give someone a high five or a supportive pat on the back ... Send large files fast by using a free service such as YouSendIt Lite ... Gain credibility by stripping “marketese” from your writing geared toward customers ... Double-check e-mail messages where the stakes are high.

While hopeful economic news has some companies breathing a cautious sigh of relief when it comes to headcount, others continue to face staffing challenges. In addition to salary and productivity, a variety of retention issues are worrying some organizations this year as the economy rebounds. When employers were asked in a new CareerBuilder survey how they will hold onto top talent this year, flexible work arrangements topped the list.

Here’s one of the simplest ways to avoid failure-to-hire litigation: Adopt a uniform system for posting openings—and then stick with that system. If you do, employees won’t be able to claim later that they didn’t know about an opening and would have applied if only they knew. Plus, transparency protects you against claims you were trying to dissuade certain individuals from applying.

With the summer season approaching, the potential for employment law problems heats up in the workplace. From short-staffing to sexual harassment to child labor issues, there's plenty to make HR pros sweat. Here's a five-point to-do list to help you weather the season.