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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.

As part of HR Professionals Week, our sister newsletter, The HR Specialist, is collecting tales of what can go wrong when candidates sit down opposite an HR professional or hiring manager. So far, we've heard stories about kittens, nail polish and the police. Share your story — from either side of the interview desk — at the HR Specialist Forum this week.

Join The HR Specialist in celebrating the first-ever “HR Professionals Week,” a five-day tribute to all that human resources pros do to make American workplaces more effective and American businesses more successful. From Monday, March 1 through Friday, March 5, we're offering a full week’s worth of free resources and activities available to all, including open-access podcasts and white papers on the critical issues shaping the HR profession.

Since 2007, the EEOC has been engaged in a major push to stamp out race-based discrimination in hiring. Known as E-RACE, the initiative’s goal is to “eliminate recruiting and hiring practices that lead to discrimination by limiting an employer’s applicant pool.” When targeting employers for enforcement action, the EEOC often zeroes in on four recruitment and screening practices:

HR professionals must make sure that supervisors hear this message loud and clear: Don’t make any assumptions about what a pregnant woman can or cannot do. Voicing such presumptions and taking action based on them virtually guarantees a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.

President Obama’s State of the Union address on Jan. 27 outlined a broad agenda of tax provisions that are intended to breathe new life into the economy. The overall idea is familiar: take more from taxpayers at one end of the financial spectrum and distribute it to some at the other end, using a series a tax provisions. Here are some highlights of Obama’s proposed changes:

Sometimes, you have to take a chance on a job applicant because the candidate pool isn’t filled with as much talent as you would like. Everyone knows picking a marginal candidate can turn out to be a mistake. If you find you have to terminate such an employee, have the same person who made the hiring decision also make the termination decision. That reduces the chance of a costly discrimination lawsuit ...

Nothing speeds a disappointed job-seeker’s trip to court like a selection process based on an employer’s use of subjective criteria to make the hiring decision. That’s especially true if the biggest deciding factor is subjective, while objective factors receive lesser weight.

Q. Are there any circumstances where an employer can justify considering a prospective employee’s disability in making hiring decisions?

Q. We’re a nine-physician medical clinic, and we employ a salaried business manager. Her duties include personnel, hiring, firing and office work. We don’t give her comp time or overtime pay. If she takes a partial day off, she must use vacation time (paid time off). Are we handling this correctly?

This recession seems to have an upside: Employees are behaving better. Don’t get too excited; the uptick in ethical behavior is probably temporary. Still, HR pros and organizational leaders can try to keep the upswing going. The best way to do that is to make creating an ethical culture a business priority. Here are a few recommendations: