Employment screening has always been about standardizing the process to minimize hiring risks and connect with the best candidates possible. While standardization is important in terms of creating a comprehensive process and treating all candidates fairly, there’s always been something somewhat impersonal about this method. So employers are working to humanize employment screening.
5 Ways To Humanize Employment Screening
Looking Beyond Facts and Figures
An increasing number of employers are taking steps to change that. They are looking behind the stats and at the real person being considered for the job. Doing so results in a more nuanced, accurate assessment and a better understanding of each individual being screened.
This is also increasingly more in line with state and local ban-the-box laws and EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) fair hiring practices. There are some specific, effective ways that any employer or HR department can humanize employment screening processes.
Involving the Candidate
A professional employment screening service is still indispensable, but employers are taking steps to engage and involve the candidate throughout the process. For example, if an item comes up in their criminal record, employers will discuss the matter with the applicant instead of ruling them out.
Employers are more aware of the fact that there is a real person behind the record. If circumstances warrant giving the individual a chance, it could pay off dramatically in terms of the employee’s gratitude and loyalty. Engaging the candidate in this process not only allows them to appeal and/or correct any inaccuracies, but to also respond and explain the results.
Finding Those Diamonds in the Rough
Ultimately, approaching employee screening in this way empowers workers to provide context for anything that comes up in their record. This includes employment gaps, crimes or anything else that could be seen as a red flag to hiring them.
Close to one in three American adults have had a criminal record, although not all are criminal convictions. Being more flexible and personal on this matter increases the hiring pool and can help employers to find workers with untapped potential.
While risk management is what drives comprehensive employment screening, sometimes what’s on paper or in digital records is not so black and white. It’s possible that the issue in question would not automatically disqualify the applicant from the job.
Is the Offense Relevant to the Position?
EEOC guidance provides another motive to individualize and humanize employment screening processes. Nearly 100 ban-the-box statutes across the nation require some level of individualized assessment for each candidate.
The EEOC states that employers should assess each applicant individually, even those with criminal records. Automatically rejecting anyone with a criminal past can lead to legal issues. The EEOC now strongly recommends talking with the individual and considering the nature of the crime, when it occurred and under what circumstances, along with the nature of the job for which they have applied.
While some cases are cut and dried, as with someone who has recently committed a violent crime or sex offense, other nonviolent crimes from long ago may not be issues to hold against the applicant.
Starting Off On the Right Foot
There is evidence that a more personalized approach to humanize employment screening also improves the onboarding process for workers. Background checks usually take place when a conditional employment offer is made. Keeping the applicant involved every step of the way starts their journey with the company with a tone and foundation of respect.
Many HR studies show that the first 90 days of employment are the most crucial to onboarding, productivity and retention of new employees. Humanizing employment screening processes effectively creates an atmosphere of trust and transparency, laying the foundation for a more successful relationship going forward.
Disclaimer Statement: All information presented is for information purposes only and is not intended to provide professional or legal advice regarding actions to take in any situation.
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