Happy New Year!
This is the one: the year when everything’s going to click into place. Your company’s going to buzz along like the well-oiled machine you always dreamed of, right? Well, maybe.
The problem with new years is that they tend to bring on as many new challenges as fixes. Just when we’ve finally tackled the issues facing us in 2016, along come new problems and challenges we never dreamed of just twelve months ago.
It’s no different for your HR department, especially when it comes to hiring and firing. Every year brings new challenges. They may come in the form of new legislation requiring new hiring procedures and record keeping. Or perhaps breakthrough technology that leads to a host of new issues and complications. This is why it makes good sense to partner up with a top-of-the-line background investigation firm like Hire Authority (www.hireauth.com; 508-230-5901). A professional firm like Hire Authority will always stay abreast of the latest trends in background investigations, so you can rest assured you’re hiring the best people without running afoul of the law.
This is so important in the modern business world. In this new millennium it seems things change not just fast but exponentially from year to year. What was cutting-edge just yesterday is ancient today. For example, do you remember the days when your computer network might last seven, eight, even ten years? Now it seems we’re upgrading every two or three years just to keep up with new applications and software speed.
And what about technology? For example, how many of us paid attention to the simple initials “VR” in the past? Last year, Virtual Reality suddenly became a household phrase—not just as a concept but a real-life application. Granted, the gaming industry has benefitted the most to date, but VR is a promising tool being used in business, academia and science as well.
Your HR department feels these changes, too. Maybe not as much in the technological scheme, but certainly from trends in society and the law. With every advance in employment measures comes new legislation to regulate it. Let’s face it: these days everything we do in the way of hiring and firing comes under the scrutiny of government agencies.
Court scrutiny, too. One of the background investigation issues facing us all is accuracy in screening. A false report based on inaccurate information can lead to some serious consequences. Imagine rejecting a candidate because of a criminal record that really belongs to someone else with the same name? Or worse, hiring someone whose serious criminal record was missed? It happens more than you think, and the consequences can be dire. And it’s not just dramatic missteps like these that we have to worry about. A person rejected for a job, who later learns that his rejection was based on bad information, is a potential nightmare litigant.
The government has been cracking down on non-compliance with procedures we might think of as mundane and routine. Lawsuits based on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) have been on the rise, and some lawsuits have resulted in stiff punitive damages. The closely watched Supreme Court case of Spokeo v. Robins only added more confusion, especially to the issue of what constitutes an injury. For employers seeking information on a job candidate’s credit background, it’s a minefield. Background screeners must know the FCRA inside and out and follow it closely to avoid trouble.
Lawsuits based on discriminatory hiring practices remain a potential—and in some cases growing—threat. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), recognizing the potential discriminatory outcome when “Big Data” is used in employment decisions, closely scrutinizes decisions based on algorithms that crunch large and far-reaching blocks of data. This scrutiny creates a problem even for companies that do not rely on Big Data, since EEOC is looking into any hiring trend that raises a red flag for statistical discrimination.
Finally, something we seldom think about is quietly changing the landscape of background screening. The new power demographic in the workforce is millennial. Millennials are 18-35 year olds, and they’re overtaking Generation-X and the Baby Boomers in terms of workforce population. These young people are highly versed in IT, and they know where to get information about the employment landscape. The dishonest ones know how to hide or fudge their own information; the honest ones know their rights, and aren’t afraid to enforce them.
The business environment doesn’t get easier with the passage of time. So this year, resolve to partner up with an outstanding background investigation firm that has your success—and protection—in mind. Contact Hire Authority today at www.hireauth.com; 508-230-5901, and let them help your company achieve a happy and safe 2017.
The foregoing should not be construed as legal advice. Employers should always consult their own legal counsel for advice on labor and employment matters.
Author: Michael Cormier