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.

The cost cutting and headcount reductions might not be over yet, but as the economy begins its slow recovery, HR pros are reporting fewer layoffs, a renewed focus on retention—and even a talk of pay raises! Still, the flush workplace of 2006 isn’t likely to rush back into vogue. Here are 12 lingering adjustments—all with comp and benefits implications—that could outlast the recession:

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is preparing to crack down on employers that stiff workers out of overtime pay—and now it’s hired extra staff to find and punish employers that break the law. As enforcement gears up, we've got resources you can use to make sure you're in compliance.

Protecting yourself and your organization from lawsuits starts the minute you decide to hire someone. Potential lawsuit land mines line your path. To stay out of court, build your hiring process around these principles:

As the person closest to your work, you’re also the best one to identify ways to improve efficiency and reduce costs associated with your job—which is exactly what most C-suite executives and business owners focus on. Just because they don’t ask for your innovative ideas doesn’t mean they’re not interested. Get your creative juices flowing with these five questions:

HR Law 101: Some employers and employees choose to enter into an employment contract. Usually the worker is seeking job security, while the company wants to protect its trade secrets and sales territories. However, if you sign an employment contract, you may find that you’ve given away more than you bargained for ...

HR Law 101: The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), signed into law in May 2008, prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against job applicants or employees based on their genetic information in hiring, firing, compensation or any other terms of employment.

Two employees ask their boss to ax the company Christmas tree. A worker refuses to trim his dreadlocks, saying they are essential to his practice of Rastafari. A cashier insists she has a right to tell customers, “Have a blessed day.” Those cases have all wound up being tried in court. Employers can't treat employees differently because of their religion, but that doesn't mean religious accommodation is easy.

If you have a robust college-student recruiting program, make sure you consider students from all age groups for your open positions—co-op and internship programs, too. That way, other employees can’t point to your college-student recruiting program as direct evidence of age bias.

Projected starting salaries for administrative professionals could see a decrease by an average of 2.2% in 2010. The good news: If you’re good at adapting to unexpected situations and able to quickly learn new skills, you’re the sort of person who will still thrive.

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: