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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While there is no “correct” HR-to-staff ratio, one HR professional per 100 employees is a generally accepted starting point. But HR-to-staff ratios have become less precise—and harder to interpret—due to the economic downturn, layoffs and the continued growth of outsourcing. Still worth measuring?

As you hire employees to replace the ones who leave your organization as the economy improves, you might find that experienced, mature workers are willing to work as interns to get their feet in the door. Nearly a quarter of employers said workers with 10-plus years of experience who are age 50 or older are applying for internships, according to a CareerBuilder poll.

Online tools can be highly valuable in recruiting and selecting the best candidates and screening out bad hires. Despite the potential advantages, those activities come with potential employment law risks that are still evolving due to the relatively recent emergence and growth of social media. Some of the obvious and not-so-obvious legal risks:

Know how sometimes you “click” with your colleagues while other times you don’t? This phenomenon might actually have a real neurological basis—what you might even call a “mind meld,” after the fictional practice from the TV series “Star Trek.”

Sometimes, the employee not hired is the one who causes the most legal trouble. A San Francisco law firm is facing a discrimination lawsuit after it declined to hire a young lawyer who had interned there. Her suit alleges that Howard Rice discriminated against her on the basis of gender, national origin and race when it decided to defer and later rescind her associate contract.
Many employers are discovering they have many—perhaps dozens—of well-qualified applicants for each opening. That may leave some perfectly qualified applicants wondering why they weren’t picked. Don’t fret about selecting the applicant with the best résumé. While you may be sued by another applicant who believes some form of discrimination must have been at work in the selection process, that lawsuit won’t go far.
Q. We’re going back and forth on this question: On an employment application, can we legally ask about an applicant’s prior conviction record or arrest record?

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.

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