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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When it comes to hiring and retention decisions, make sure that everyone involved in the process is on the same page. Decide on the criteria and stick with them for all candidates. Otherwise, shifting explanations about who is chosen and who is rejected can look like intentional efforts to manipulate the choice and hide underlying discrimination.

Summer is a great time to assess your tax situation. By making a few moves midway through the year, you can cut your 2010 tax bill by hundreds or thousands of dollars. But if you wait until the end of the year to seize these tax-saving opportunities, it’s often too late. Here are 10 timely techniques to contemplate:
Test your knowledge of recent trends in employment law, comp & benefits and other HR issues with our monthly mini-quiz ...

Employees who are transferred against their will often sue for discrimination—especially if the new job is less prestigious and makes the employee feel like she has to quit. For example, in the following case, an older teacher claimed she suffered an adverse employment action when she was demoted to substitute teacher at the same time younger teachers were hired.

Here’s a tip for avoiding lawsuits over alleged discrimination. Don’t keep statistics just on the employees you hire. Track those to whom you offered a job, but who turned it down, too.
Q. Our maternity leave policy offers paid leave for female employees who plan to return to work after the birth of the child. If the employee quits before returning to work, she’s required to reimburse the company for the paid leave. Is this lawful?

It happens all the time: A manager decides to take a chance by hiring a marginally qualified applicant. Then, days later—as the new employee struggles—it becomes clear she can’t do the job. Employers have little choice but to terminate the worker. And then the former employee feels like she has little choice but to sue for some form of discrimination. What's the best way to avoid those kinds of lawsuits?

It’s never been easier to apply for a job online, yet résumé-screening software is designed to filter out candidates who aren’t a perfect fit. So to make it into the hiring manager’s inbox, you need to know a few tricks:
Companies everywhere are scrutinizing their payrolls and full-time employee head counts with an eye toward cost-saving measures ... and independent contractors. Just be aware that you'll need a concrete policy for managers to steer clear of the IRS and legal headaches in hiring outside workers.

The HR pros at Columbia, Md.-based database marketing company Merkle have a recruiting slogan: “It’s not rocket science: Treat your employees well and they’ll return the favor.” To that end, the 1,100-employee firm offers “dream grants” to employees, which pay for individuals or groups of colleagues to take an adventure.