The recently passed Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act gives a payroll tax holiday and up-to-$1,000 tax credit for employers who hire unemployed workers. The tax benefit is immediate, because the tax is simply never collected in the first place. The tax benefit generally applies only to private-sector employment. There is no minimum weekly number of hours that the new employee must work for the employer to be eligible, and there is no limit on the dollar amount of payroll taxes per employer that may be forgiven. For workers that would otherwise be eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, the employer must select one benefit or the other for 2010. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, employers will need to fill out a W-11 with the IRS.
Bonus: check out this blog in the Harvard Business Review about good hiring practices.