Despite an unemployment rate at its lowest level since 2007, hiring is becoming increasingly complex. For many years, employers have been subject to a variety of laws as they attempt to engage qualified candidates, and the wave of “ban-the-box” legislation sweeping the country is introducing even more regulations into the hiring process.
But in spite of the added complexity, employment screening (emp screening) continues to have a significant impact on outcomes for businesses of all sizes. What risks arise when employers don’t adequately screen potential workers, and how do recent legislation and existing laws impact the process?
The dangers of making bad hires
Even one ill-advised hire can significantly increase the risk of negative consequences, including compromising sensitive data, theft, reputation damage and even physical injuries to customers or other employees.
With unemployment low and talented workers becoming more difficult to find, speed and efficiency in the hiring process are critical. Pre-emp screening has long provided a trusted method for assisting employers with making critical decisions in hiring.
The effects of recent legislation
As of mid-2015, “ban-the-box” legislation was in effect in 18 states and 52 municipalities across the United States. The ban-the-box movement seeks to remove questions about past criminal offenses or convictions from initial job applications.
But for some employers — especially those in highly regulated industries — the new laws represent a Catch-22. Hiring practices also must comply with local, state and federal rules that may prohibit employment of workers with criminal histories in certain positions. And for companies operating in more than one jurisdiction, compliance with potentially conflicting laws can create increasing complexity in the emp screening hiring process.
The role of consumer protections
Additionally, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and similar state laws already affect the information that employers may gather during an emp screening. Under the FCRA, employers must follow a defined process that allows job applicants to dispute inaccurate or incomplete information that results in a decision not to hire. Some of the new ban-the-box rules conflict with those requirements, adding another challenge for employers.
An important role for emp screening
Failing to uncover pertinent background information for potential hires can have devastating effects for modern companies. At the same time, a complex regulatory climate is creating challenges for employers. Prudent hiring managers increasingly are working with knowledgeable professionals who can effectively navigate the nuances of emp screening.