It pays for employers to stay on top of the changes that are occurring in the Human Resources, staffing, and recruiting industry. Nowhere are more changes occuring than in the steps employers must take in the hiring process.
The need to keep the hiring process legal, ethical, and successful has gained a new sense of urgency in the light of industry trends and legal requirements. Employers need to be aware - and sometimes wary - about these six top trends in the hiring process.
Employment Eligibility Verification, the Form I-9, and E-Verify
With increasing worksite investigations, significant penalties and fines, and the expansion of E-Verify, managing Form I-9 compliance is becoming an even more critical task for HR organizations across the U.S.
The number of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) worksite inspections doubled from 1,191 in 2008 to 2,746 in 2010. Fines issued by the agency skyrocketed from $675,209 to almost $7,000,000 in the same time frame. And in 2011, ICE's budget submission sought funding increases in their detention capacity and civil enforcement personnel. The trend is clear: I-9 audits are a key ICE initiative and the agency’s enforcement goals are getting aggressive.
The paper Form I-9 process can be error-prone and hard to understand. This one-page form is so complex that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service provides a 69-page booklet on how to properly complete the I-9 form. It seems unfair that companies are penalized when they make mistakes - even after good faith efforts at compliance.
Automating the historical paper Form I-9 process is a way companies can ensure forms are correct and properly stored. Employment Eligibility Verification services today eliminate stacks of paper, help reduce errors, and improve compliance and we will continue to see these services emerge in the future.
EEOC Involvement in Criminal Background Checks
For several years, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has held that the use of arrest and conviction records for employment-related decisions is unlawful under Title VII in the absence of a justifying business necessity. The issue was brought to the forefront again in July, 2011, when the Commission gave specific guidance regarding the policy.
Going forward, the EEOC requests companies show that they’re taking all aspects of a candidate’s criminal record into consideration to determine whether its employment decision is justified by business necessity.
It stands that there are conflicting and confusing pressures on businesses when it comes to using prior conviction and arrest records in hiring decisions. EEOC commissioners acknowledge that this is a complicated issue. There is a dichotomy between giving people a second chance and having employers feel more secure with the people they’re hiring. As more stakeholders in this issue surface, the outcomes of future EEOC meetings will have a significant impact on hiring decisions.
Social Media Screening
A recent Aberdeen Group study (for purchase only) shows 77% of HR, staffing, and recruiting professionals use an online career site for talent acquisition. Online content - especially popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn - has created a new and rich information source for HR, staffing, and recruiting practitioners sourcing and screening candidates. Social networks offer a free way to identify passive candidates (those not actively looking for a new job), verify a candidate’s résumé claims, unearth undesirable behaviors, and gain insight into a candidate’s skills, personality, and cultural fit. While benefiting employers, social media as a screening tool creates new legal concerns and should be used wisely to avoid potential pitfalls.
There is nothing wrong with rejecting a job candidate with personal characteristics that will result in poor or unsafe job performance. That is part of any HR organization’s mandate. However, when recruiters obtain such information directly, it may be hard to prove that only the job-relevant information was used in the hiring decision.
As social media adoption continues to accelerate, this sourcing and screening challenge will be even bigger in coming years. Prepare yourself by ensuring your protocols enable you to leverage the value of social media without the risk of discrimination and negligent hiring claims.
Candidate-Driven Résumé Verification
Recruiters worry about the accuracy of résumés that flood across their desk with every job opening. They may have a right to be concerned - more than a third of respondents in a 2011 Harris Interactive survey believed that misrepresenting information on a résumé can be extremely beneficial for a job seeker.
Résumé fraud results in a multi-million dollar employment verification industry designed to weed out fabrications. However, much of this effort is wasteful as each verification process starts from scratch, rechecking the entire résumé, including static portions that don't change over time.
Third-party résumé verification services are cropping up to benefit job candidates, recruiters, employers, and select career management sites. Verifying the accuracy of a résumé, ultimately providing a trusted third-party seal of approval, brings a new level of confidence to all involved parties.
In years ahead, we’ll start to see job applicants certifying their own résumés prior to the job interview - clearing up any discrepancies before a potential employer runs a background check of their own. In doing so, they may also gain a competitive advantage over other job seekers in a crowded job market. Some candidates will be able to go so far as to run a background check on themselves (in certain states) using new third-party services.
Not only does this help curb what some would consider an epidemic of résumé fraud, but recruiters can source credible candidates the first time around with a certified résumé. This means reduced hiring risk and faster time to fill for the recruiter.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 1 in 6 employees use illicit drugs among adult fulltime workers. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that drug use costs employers an estimated $75 billion to $100 billion per year in lost productivity. As a result, the issue of illicit drug use and its impact on workplace is top of mind for many HR, staffing and recruiting professionals. What is the net effect? Pre-employment drug screening is on the rise. This year SHRM found that 84% of companies are now conducting pre-employment drug testing and 40% of those are conducting post-hire screening, as well.
It’s proven that a well-designed drug testing program decreases workers’ compensation claims, on-the-job injuries and absenteeism, property theft and damage, and can increase productivity (SHRM). It makes sense that such programs are being put into place. However, employers need to understand the potential issues related to drug testing in the workplace – like the ever-increasing and sometimes contradictory legislation surrounding the use of medical marijuana – before rolling out such programs across their organizations.
Single Platform for the Hiring Process
From the time a hiring manager identifies the person they want to hire, to when the new employee becomes fully-engaged and contributing to the organization, companies use multiple vendors to navigate the hiring process. There is an increasing need for HR professionals to manage their entire hiring process on a single, integrated software platform. A single platform allows seamless integration, plugging into recruiting systems on the front end and Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) on the back end.
All of these trends bring unique challenges to HR, recruiting, and staffing professionals, and shape the way they’re thinking about their Hiring Process Management (HPM) in the future.