Archive for July, 2013

Are Millennials Really Ready for the Workforce?

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

employee screeningWe’ve all heard stories about younger job applicants’ conduct during interviews: from being unprepared and texting, to having their mothers call the interviewer—some behavior ranges from annoying to bizarre. Has the millennial generation somehow missed the memo on how to be prepared for the workforce?

Many 20-somethings are new at this work thing. They came of age during the recession, when typical teenager jobs like flipping burgers or scooping ice cream were going to more seasoned, older workers desperate for a paycheck. They haven’t experienced typical job pressures of showing up on time, doing what they’re told and carrying themselves with some sense of professionalism.

Plus, millennials have a different approach to the workplace altogether, which may strike older generations as odd. In fact, a major human resources company conducted a recent survey which showed that 66% of hiring managers don’t believe recent college graduates are prepared for the workplace. In other words, most hiring managers don’t think millennials can land and keep a job.

Others disagree, saying that the younger generation’s affinity for collaboration and dedication to causes will make them ideal trainees. They may be better at working on and building teams, and demonstrate greater loyalty—especially when made to feel that they are part of something bigger. However, this group was also stung by seeing friends and family struggle with job searches after being laid off during the recession. As a result, they may tend to mistrust employers.

Since millennials will eventually make up the bulk of the working-age population, hiring managers and business owners will need to figure out how they fit into their worker mix. As a group, they are well-educated and technically savvy. With clear direction and loyalty from their employers, they could become just as successful as previous generations.

When you’re recruiting the perfect team, don’t neglect employee background screening. The best pre-employment screening process includes employee background checks, employee credit checks, and criminal background checks. You’ll know you’re hiring safe when you screen employees before offering a position.

Lawsuits Over Background Checks

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

employee screening criminaldata.com

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed lawsuits against Dollar General Corp and a BMW manufacturing plant over their use of employment screening. In each case, the EEOC claims that the criminal background checks used to screen applicants or terminate employees discriminated against African-Americans.

These are the first lawsuits that have been filed since the EEOC updated and clarified its background check guidelines last year. At that time, the agency warned employers that using overly broad criminal background checks that limit job opportunities for applicants with arrests and convictions on their records could set them up for discrimination charges.

While the EEOC clarified then that it was not prohibiting employers from obtaining criminal background checks on job applicants, it did want to “reduce barriers to employment” for those with criminal records who “have been held accountable and paid their dues.”

The agency is alleging that the BMW plant, in Spartanburg, SC ordered new background checks after a staffing company changed contractors. The previous contractor’s policy was not to hire anyone with a criminal conviction within the past seven years. But BMW fired anyone whose new background check revealed a criminal record for any year—and that totaled 88 employees, 70 of whom were African-American. Many of the terminated workers had been with BMW—through the contractor—for over a decade.

The EEOC claims this is a violation of the guidelines, as a “blanket exclusion” that does not take into account the nature or timing of the crime, or whether it relevant to the work performed by the employee.

BMW says it will defend itself against the allegations.

The EEOC’s case against Dollar General is a nationwide action, based on discrimination charges filed by two black applicants. One, who revealed a six-year-old conviction for possession of a controlled substance was offered employment, only to have the offer rescinded, based on Dollar General’s policy not to hire anyone with that type of conviction within 10 years.

The other applicant was rejected based on an erroneous report that she had a felony conviction. She notified Dollar General that the report was a mistake, but they did not reverse the decision, according to the EEOC.

The EEOC continues to urge employers to give applicants an opportunity to explain criminal convictions before they are rejected. It also recommends that employers stop asking about criminal convictions on job applications.

Employers, on the other hand, see criminal background checks as a way to gather as much information as possible about an applicant, so an informed hiring decision can be made. Regardless of skin color, employers have a right to know whether an applicant has a criminal record.

Why Your Best Workers Quit

Friday, July 12th, 2013

employee credit check, pre employment backgound checkHaving a group of happy, loyal and productive employees is every business owner’s dream. But it’s inevitable that things in business go wrong. Morale can suffer for reasons as diverse as declining sales, layoffs and managerial stress levels.

And when morale drops, productivity drops. People start looking for other work. And soon, you’re replacing your best workers. But if you know why people leave, you can be proactive about solving the issues and giving them incentives to stay.

Why do employees quit?

They don’t feel connected to the company: Many managers keep employees in the dark. They don’t share information about financials or the big picture. They keep their vision for the company and their own department to themselves. As a result, employees have little sense of why they are important to the company. They don’t feel compelled to make a difference—which is very important to most people.

Their work does not motivate them: Plenty of people work for low pay in jobs they love, because they get something of great value out of it—self satisfaction, or external praise for their contributions. But many employers expect workers to be motivated just by their paychecks. It takes more than financial compensation to attract and retain the best workers.

They don’t enjoy themselves at work: Your company may not be a fun factory, but that doesn’t mean people can’t find enjoyment in their work. Engaging employees in new ways can go a long way toward that. Offer flexible hours. Eliminate the dress code. Encourage workers to decorate their cubicles and offices to reflect their personalities. Learn from innovative employers like Google and Zappos.

They see no career path: Do you provide a way for employees to work their way up from their current positions? If so, is it clearly understood by them? If workers feel “stuck,” they will look elsewhere for some upward mobility. And sadly, many employees report that they don’t know if their companies offer any way to move up.

If you have valuable, talented employees that you want to keep, you can help them stick around by paying attention, offering them more than a paycheck and making them part of the company’s success.

When you’re recruiting the perfect team, don’t neglect employee background screening. The best pre-employment screening process includes employee background checks, employee credit checks, and criminal background checks. You’ll know you’re hiring safe when you screen employees before offering a position.