Archive for June, 2011

Landmark Supreme Court Ruling Finds in Favor of Wal-Mart

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

employee screening criminaldata.comThe Supreme Court on Monday issued a decision with wide-ranging implications. In Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Betty Dukes et al., the largest class-action suit in U.S. history, the court found that there was not significant proof that the company operated under a general policy of discrimination.

The plaintiffs in the case claimed that Wal-Mart managers favored men when it came to pay and promotions. In 2001, six current and former employees filed a class action lawsuit. In 2004, a national class was certified that included all women who worked at Wal-Mart stores since December 26, 1998,.

The court’s ruling on Monday also found that there was not enough “glue holding together the alleged reasons” for millions of employment decisions. Therefore, there was no “class” that would justify the class-action suit filed by more than 1 million female employees.

Further, the court indicated that Wal-Mart’s announced policy forbids sex discrimination and the company has penalties for denials of equal opportunity. The respondents’ only evidence of general discrimination, the ruling said, was a sociologist’s analysis that said Wal-Mart’s corporate culture made it vulnerable to gender bias. The sociologist could not estimate what percentage of Wal-Mart’s employment decisions might be determined by “stereotypical thinking.”

The attorney for the plaintiffs indicated that thousands of individual claims could still be filed later in the year. They may try to formulate one or more smaller classes, where there is “substantial evidence of a policy of discrimination.”

The Wal-Mart decision sets forth new parameters for the way class action suits will be structured and litigated. In effect, each member of the class must be able to tell their story on the stand and it must be the same story for everyone else.

Wal-Mart and its supporters, including DuPont and Intel, said that such class actions can subject them to billion-dollar judgments and must be limited by rules governing who can join together to form a class.

The National Women’s Law Center said the decision was “devastating” and female workers everywhere will now face a “far steeper road to challenge and correct pay and other forms of discrimination in the workplace.”

How Does Your Hiring Process Compare?

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

employee screening, employee background checkMost employers have a typical hiring process of advertising a position, weeding out applications, conducting interviews and hiring the best-fit candidate. However, there are extra steps in the process that you may be overlooking that could help your company hire better-quality employees, and even reduce your turnover.

Screening applicant resumes: While the number of applicants for a given position may affect resume review, there are some standard procedures you can implement to help make the best choice:

  • First, make a list of your must-have and can-live-without qualities for your new hire. Is following the instructions for applying for the position absolutely critical? If you asked for a cover letter and an otherwise-standout resume is missing it, will it be tossed?
  • Next, to avoid reading every word on every resume, determine what keywords best describe the employee you need to hire, and then scan resumes for those words.
  • Be sure to apply the same parameters and requirements to every applicant.

Start conducting phone interviews: The purpose of a phone interview is to be certain a candidate understands the job description and requirements, and that the salary range aligns with their expectations. If it’s not a good fit for either side, going further is a waste of time.

Phone interviews are also a good way to determine if the candidate has the communication skills necessary for the position. If they’re applying for a customer service job, but cannot establish a good rapport over the phone, they will probably not be successful.

First-round interviews are typically the next step, for applicants who pass the initial screening and do well on the phone interview. Expect to spend 45 minutes to an hour with each candidate; if the interview is not going well and needs to be cut short, you may have a problem with your process up to this point. If the candidate is not a good fit or not qualified for the job, the resume screening and phone interview should have revealed this.

Follow up after the interview: Be polite—it can pay off! The frustration of job seekers can be exacerbated when they don’t hear anything after an interview. It’s just as important to make a good impression on potential employees as it is for them to make a good impression on you. Once you’ve eliminated a candidate from contention sure to send a brief email thanking him or her for their time and informing them that another candidate was selected.

Why is this so important? You never know what can happen, whether your first choice candidate declines the job offer, or you decide you’ve made a hiring mistake a month in. Plus, it’s all about your company’s brand—do you want to be known as a professional and polite firm or the onethat leaves people hanging? Developing good relationships with everyone who comes in contact with your company is a great way to spread goodwill.

Make the decision: When it’s time to choose the applicant who will join your company as an employee, look for enthusiasm and culture fit. If a candidate has the same basic skills as four other applicants, but is pumped up about coming to work and excelling, you probably have a winner. Before making the hire offer, be sure to conduct a pre-employment screening to ensure that the candidate’s credit and criminal history are clean. Keep your other employees and your company safe from potential harm with pre-employment background checks.

Study Focuses on Older Workers at Fortune 500 Companies

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

employee background check, employee screeningA recent report ranked Fortune 500 employers by the percentage of workers they have over age 50. RetirementJobs.com gathered data from public records and surveys of employers and employees, to illustrate for job seekers 50+ which industries tend to employ a disproportionately high or low percentage of mature workers.

The results show that the airline industry employs the most workers over age 50, and that American Airlines was first in the nation, with nearly 40% of its workforce over age 50.  Toward the other end of the scale is Google, Inc., with just 13 % of workers over 50.

RetirementJobs.com stated that the study did not provide insight into whether employers are committed to hiring older workers, or whether they do or do not appreciate older workers. They further said that a low percentage of older workers does not imply that the company is a bad place for older people to work—they just have fewer than would be expected and may therefore be less accepting of older workers.

Additional findings from the study:

  • The average among the Fortune 500 is 25.6% of employees age 50+.
  • Companies addressing high turnover rates strategically recruit mature employees, because age 50+ workers turn over at one-third the rate of younger peers.
  • In any given organization, the percentage of employees age 50+ ranges from 6% to 39% on average.

The top Industries for the number of workers over 50 are:

  1. Airlines
  2. Utilities
  3. Insurance
  4. Retail
  5. Chemicals
  6. Aerospace & Defense
  7. Packaging & Containers
  8. Forest & Paper Products
  9. Food Production
  10. Beverages

The Top 10 Fortune 500 Employers Of Older Workers

  1. American Airlines                              39%
  2. Eastman Kodak                                  38%
  3. TravelCenters of America                 38%
  4. Delta Air Lines                                   37%
  5. United Air Lines                                 37%
  6. Weyerhaeuser                                     36%
  7. Edison International                          36%
  8. Northeast Utilities                              36%
  9. United Services Automobile Assn.   35%
  10. KeyCorp                                                35%

The Bottom 10 Fortune 500 Employers For Older Worker

  1. Consol Energy 14%
  2. Nordstrom                                              14%
  3. Chesapeake Energy                                14%
  4. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold   14%
  5. Electronic Arts                                       13%
  6. Google, Inc.                                             12%
  7. C.H. Robinson Worldwide                    12%
  8. Goldman Sachs Group                           11%
  9. Auto-Owners Insurance                          9%
  10. AECOM Technology                                 6%

Also appearing in the bottom 20 are companies such as Target, Whole Foods, Best Buy, Hershey, Polo Ralph Lauren, Amazon and Philip Morris.