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.

Could an oversized waistline put your future career at risk? Career columnist Anita Bruzzese says, “If you’re carrying too much weight—enough to be considered overweight or obese—then you’re a concern to employers.”

Q. I’ve never required background checks on any job applicants. To get a better understanding of whom we’re hiring, I’ve retained a professional screening company to begin vetting our candidates for things such as criminal convictions. Are there any specific protocols we should be following?

Does it matter if we misspell words or use abbreviations in email messages? Opinions are mixed. Everyone, however, agrees that when you’re working on written correspondence or an important document, it has to be flawless. Can you spot the grammar and writing errors in the sentences?

Employers seeking Internet-savvy candidates have been flocking to social media sites in the past year. But employers (and their lawyers) are discovering a hidden problem in that recruiting-by-Facebook strategy: Depending too much on the sites could leave your organization vulnerable to age and race discrimination lawsuits.

Some employees are light-fingered, and it isn’t always easy to catch them stealing. Loss-prevention staff often presses hard when interviewing employees they suspect are pilfering. That’s appropriate, as is reporting the case to police. As the following case shows, aggressive questioning during an initial investigation doesn’t equal malicious intent.

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. But that’s easier said than done. 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.

It’s in your best interest to detect employee drug abuse early and root it out immediately. But that’s easier said than done. 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.

The results are in—and we have a winner! At the beginning of HR Professionals Week 2010, which wraps up today, we asked you to tell us about memorable things that have happened to you during job interviews. And tell us you did.

What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve ever experienced in a job interview?

Next came voting, in which you chose your favorite response. Thanks to everyone who took the time to cast a ballot. Now we've got the results.

Are any of you like I used to be? Always available to listen, motivate, brainstorm and basically provide your friends, family and colleagues with whatever they needed to play an outstanding game while you watched from the sidelines? After years of watching everyone take my advice, execute the perfect play and score, I was left with two distinct thoughts. One, it stinks being on the bench, and two, if they can do it, so can I. And so can you!

The interview remains a hiring manager’s most effective tool for evaluating job candidates. Unfortunately, managers too often rely on a list of standard interview questions for which most applicants have canned responses. Here are five common questions to avoid, as well as suggestions for more productive queries that will help you make the correct hiring choice: