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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Sometimes, the best lessons are learned from the worst examples. That’s often the case with HR management. When employers make big mistakes and have to pay for them in court, other employers with good practices—that maybe need just a little tweaking—can discover what not to do. Here’s a good example.

Federal employment laws can be terribly confusing, particularly because they often have different definitions for the size of a business that is exempt from the law. Use the following list to make sure you’re not spending time and money complying with laws that only apply to larger businesses.

In a case coming out of Illinois, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that each time an employer uses the results of a test to select candidates for promotion creates a new opportunity for employees to challenge that test. That means if a test was invalid, its continued use may spur litigation long after the test was actually administered.
Q. My company is hiring workers who qualify for the new HIRE Act Social Security tax exemption. Can we claim the work opportunity credit for wages paid to the same workers?
Someday, hopefully not too terribly soon, you’ll be looking for another job. And when that happens, you’ll need to sharpen your résumé so that it captures the attention of hiring managers. The main focus on your résumé should be itemizing victories, so that your future boss can imagine you doing the same things for him.

As unemployment continues to hover near 10%, the temptation to stretch the truth on a résumé is becoming harder for desperate job-seekers to resist. That’s why experts say job applicants are doing more “creative writing” on their résumés these days. And hiring managers need to be more vigilant. Some tips:

It happens all the time: A manager decides to take a chance by hiring a marginally qualified applicant. Then, days later, it becomes clear she can’t do the job. The employer has little choice but to terminate. But then the fired employee feels she has little choice but to sue for some form of discrimination. The best way to avoid those lawsuits: Don’t count on “gut feeling” or interview skills. Run the applicant through job-specific tests.

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court in May ruled that the lawsuit clock resets each time an employer uses apparently biased job-qualification tests to make hiring decisions. The court said the timing of Title VII lawsuits doesn’t depend on when the test was administered, but on when the employer uses the test results, even if that’s years later.

Online social networking sites provide a variety of benefits to organizations. They can help you collect industry-based knowledge, reach new customers, build your brand and publicize your company’s name and reputation. But those benefits come with their fair share of legal risks. You need a comprehensive social media policy to guide employees on your expectations about their online behavior.

When drug abuse isn’t an obvious problem in the workplace, it’s easy for employers to develop a cavalier attitude about it. That’s not smart. It’s in your best interest to detect employee drug abuse early and root it out immediately. Keeping your workplace drug-free means knowing how to spot the problem and effectively respond to it—without violating employees’ legal rights and creating legal liability.

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