1. Make sure you get an employment agreement in writing. A lack of written contracts ranked high on the list of small businesses' mistakes, according to a recent survey the firm conducted. 2. Develop an employee handbook. 3. Create policies that clearly define and prohibit discrimination in the workplace. For example, establish a no-tolerance policy for racist, sexist and classist actions and/or language. 4. Implement a sexual harassment policy that prohibits any unwelcome conduct or advance that is intimidating, hostile or offensive. 5. Familiarize yourself with the legal requirements of the Employee Medical Leave Act. 6. Provide a workers compensation program, which can help a small business avoid costly lawsuits and out-of-pocket expenses.In our third installment of our small-business hiring series, we speak with a handful of small businesses in a variety of industries that are optimistic about 2012 and hiring because of it.