Post-Pandemic Hiring Reminders: Due Diligence is Still Important

Businesses everywhere were forced to respond to a rapidly changing situation when the pandemic struck. In many cases, that meant serious downsizing. Many companies cut staff, furloughing or outright laying off many people. Unemployment shot up to the highest levels in the United States for decades. As the world adjusts to living with the coronavirus, economic recovery has led to a surge in demand for new workers.

Challenging conditions remain, especially with high inflation, but businesses need bodies. With strong job growth continuing in the face of uncertainty, it's a job applicant's market, which means more competition for talent between businesses. The pressing need for more staff and the challenges inherent in bringing in applications now mean that some companies have chosen to change their screening practices.

Is that the best idea? While advertising a fast hiring process or even "no background checks" might bring new attention to your listings, it comes with inherent risks and compliance concerns. Skipping the stage where you use an employment screening service could leave you vulnerable to future claims of negligent hiring. Instead of forgoing the background check, consider other ways a business can generate interest without unnecessary risks. A few things to try might include:

  • Be upfront about pay or salary ranges. Job-seekers today are more than happy to move on to another listing if you aren't willing to disclose what you pay.
  • Personalize the process. The more personal and friendly your approach to the process, the more likely quality candidates will stick with you.
  • Keep your process fast. Applicants can become disillusioned with a long process that keeps them waiting for answers for weeks, so move faster.

Throughout this process, keep your efforts focused on what's most important: finding a suitable, safe candidate that suits your needs. Due diligence is about more than merely developing or improving vetting procedures to protect your business and its employees from possible harm. You must also ensure your legal compliance and regulation in this area adjust continuously. Staying current on these changes is a necessity to avoid costly fines and lawsuits.

Consider that two major metropolitan areas have moved towards adopting ban the box rules that limit when and how an employer may make criminal history inquiries. In Des Moines, Iowa, ban the box rules took effect earlier this year, which apply to private employers. In Tampa, Florida, local leaders are close to passing a similar provision that would ban private employers from asking about convictions or arrests before making a conditional job offer.

In the post-pandemic world, companies must contend with a challenging labor market and the potential for changing regulations at the local, state, and even federal levels. Now is the time to review your standards and procedures and to ask: are we doing enough due diligence today?

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Michael Klazema

About Michael Klazema The author

Michael Klazema is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments

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