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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.

One easy way to cut down on lawsuits when you have to fire an employee: Have the same person who hired or last promoted the employee also make the final decision on termination. Courts often conclude that it would make no sense for those who hired or promoted someone to turn around and fire that same person for discriminatory reasons. This is called the “same-actor” defense.

The EEOC has cited national convention marketing firm Freeman Companies with discriminatory hiring practices based on the company’s use of applicants’ credit scores and criminal background checks in hiring. According to the complaint, the credit and criminal background checks are neither job related nor of business necessity. The EEOC alleges they screen out otherwise qualified women and minority candidates.

If you’re looking to remedy past discrimination by adopting employment policies that encourage minority hiring, watch out! You may be vulnerable to a reverse discrimination lawsuit. That may be true even if your policies resulted from a court order to address discrimination.

Too many leaders base hiring decisions on education and credentials alone. They fail to consider “softer” questions, such as: Is the candidate a visionary? Does the applicant think in a conceptual way? To help sharpen your focus, here are five questions to ask during job interviews:

You have to handle plenty of serious employee gripes about benefits and harassment. But as shown by a new CareerBuilder survey of 2,600 HR pros and hiring managers, you also have had to deal with some truly offbeat complaints. Some highlights:

Discrimination against employees because of their family caregiving duties has become a hotbed for litigation against employers, and every indication is that this trend will continue. So it’s critical for employers to recognize the potential for liability and take necessary steps to avoid being the next defendant. Here's how.

The Washington Redskins’ hiring of an “offensive consultant” looked to some like a pure play to undermine the head coach. The Redskins owner rationalized that his hired hand was “another pair of eyes.” That only works, though, if the coach wants another set of eyes. Since that wasn’t the case, the owner appeared to be perpetuating infighting and chaos. Result? A case of “toxic management.”

Do you "play favorites” with certain employees? Most managers would probably say “no,” but people often harbor unconscious perceptions that can influence day-to-day decision-making and job reviews of the employees they manage. Several factors unrelated to employee performance can impact evaluations conducted by managers.

Sometimes, it’s best to just come clean. Even the best HR pros make mistakes when promoting or hiring employees. When that happens, and another employee sues, alleging that the hiring or promotion process was tainted by discrimination, it may be a good idea to admit that mistake to the court or the EEOC.

One of the cardinal rules of hiring is that you should ask all applicants the same questions. But even good rules can sometimes be broken … when it makes good sense. For example, if you are interviewing both internal and external applicants for an open position, it’s perfectly logical to ask internal applicants some different questions ...