As we merrily trot into the new year, there are probably 1000 tasks on our plates. As always, hiring the right people is one of the big ones. With the economic climate changes and Millennials flooding the workforce, HR professionals must re-think, revise, and re-new the way they use all hiring tools, especially background screening. Here are six employer new year's resolutions to rock 2016 hiring!
#1: I will be thorough. Slapping a database search order through the system and marking an applicant "screened" is, say it with me, Bad! Bad! BAD! Not only is such a search a mere tip of the iceberg of information that could be lurking in a potential hire's background, it doesn't cover your company legally in case the employee is a danger to co-workers or clients. Commit to thoroughly screening your job candidates by ordering the proper county, state, and database searches, as well as other verifications of employment and education.
#2: I will be fair and relevant. Before you declare "I will order every background check under the sun," hold your horses and think about the position. Recent EEOC guidance advises the screening be fair and relevant to the position. For example, you don't really need to pull a credit report for a stockroom clerk, but you probably need one if you are hiring a bank teller. Practice fair hiring and craft your screening process via each position.
#3: I will choose the right background screening vendor. Do you expect a hot dog stand to sell you a select cut of premium steak? NO? Then please don't expect a fly-by-night cheapo background screening provider to return accurate information. Listen, folks, just missing one significant conviction or failing to catch one job falsification can cost your company big in terms of litigation, client loss, and reputation tarnishment. Do business with a reputable, NAPBS certified background screening vendor that has been in business a long time. Ask them what procedures they have in place to ensure the information they return is accurate. If you get a blank stare, mark them off your list.
#4: I will educate myself on my state's laws. Take some time to review the legislation in your state in regard to hiring. Certain states have recently passed laws regarding issues such as "Ban the Box." Make sure that you and your hiring managers understand the requirements of the state you are based in, as well as any additional states where you conduct hiring.
#5: I will practice PCP (perfect compliance processes). Never has compliance been more important than it will be in 2016. Employment lawsuits are on the rise, and employers must cover themselves with compliant processes that will hold up in court. Make certain every single applicant signs an authorization before you check their backgrounds, and follow adverse action procedures if you decide in whole or part not to hire a person. Vigilently pursue compliance perfection.
#6: I will be an advocate for proper hiring standards. While you may be the superstar of compliant, thorough, relevant hiring, all hiring managers need to be in the game, too. Just one errant person failing to follow the rules can derail your background screening process. Offer consistent, written and verbal education to every employee involved in the hiring process, and make certain they understand the importance of following the company's best practices.
Hiring is always going to be a challenge. However, by employing these six hiring resolutions, you will maximize your company's chances of making the best hiring decisions, and reduce the chance of negligent hiring litigation and disastrous new employee situations.