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.

The cost cutting and staff reductions may not be completely over, but as the economy begins its recovery, HR will be dealing with new challenges in 2010. Here are 10 trends to expect in the coming year, plus tips and tools to help you respond to each:

Employers have a duty to protect their employees from identity theft. The federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) of 2003 says employers that negligently or purposely let employees’ personally identifiable data fall into the wrong hands can face fines of up to $2,500 per infraction. Here are six tips on developing a data security strategy.

The feds are turning up the heat on employers that shortcut employment eligibility verification laws, targeting 1,000 companies nationwide. Will you be one of them? You can help ensure you're compliant by checking out our webinar CD Immigration Compliance Update 2009: I-9s, E-Verify, Crackdowns and the ‘Obama Effect’.

According to a recent working-conditions survey, many employers are not doing the routine maintenance they should to keep their labor and employment compliance in tip-top shape. There’s no guarantee that tuning up your workplace policies like you do your car will avoid lawsuits. But, some routine preventive maintenance will go a long way to ensuring better compliance and fewer problems.

Good communication skills are more valuable than knowing PowerPoint inside and out, according to a new survey, in which 67% of human resources managers said they would hire someone with strong soft skills even if their technical abilities were lacking. The way HR managers see it, technical skills are easier to teach than soft skills.

As you try to cut costs in a tough economy, it may be tempting to outsource some HR functions to an independent contractor instead of continuing to do them in-house. Before you make that move, consider this: Employers may be liable for discrimination practiced by the outsourced independent contractor.

A new law, the Veterans’ Benefit Improvement Act, makes it absolutely critical for you to retain records of how you handled any hiring process involving military veterans. Those covered by USERRA now can sue at any time, no matter how long ago an employer allegedly violated their rights. Fortunately, the 7th Circuit has ruled that the law isn’t retroactive.

It’s one of the toughest HR problems: Handling a sexual harassment claim when the alleged harasser is a supervisor. But all is not lost. With proper planning, you can minimize the liability risk. Here’s how:

 We all like to think we’ve moved beyond race discrimination, but the number of race bias lawsuits being filed suggests otherwise. That’s why employers need to make sure their hiring and discharge practices don’t discriminate. 

Q. What is the Illinois Employee Classification Act? I’m not sure if it applies to my company.