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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Common sense says that if a manager hires someone knowing that she belongs to a protected class, the manager probably won’t turn around a few months later and fire the new employee because she belongs to that protected class. That’s why you should make it a policy that the same managers who make hiring decisions also make termination decisions.

An Applebee’s restaurant in Fayetteville is facing an EEOC sex discrimination lawsuit after managers allegedly reneged on a promise to promote Amanda Antisdel to a bartending position and then hired a less experienced man instead.

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.