background checks, discrimination, EEOC, higher education, hiring process, HR, Human Resources, recruiting, references, universities
Large organizations, especially government organizations, are losing great applicants because Human Resources is not keeping pace with the reality of the recruitment environment.
Challenges to Hiring Highly Skilled Workers
- the workforce has not kept pace with the growth in highly educated and skilled jobs
- unemployment is now nearly down to four percent
- professional salaries and benefits have flattened as executive salaries have fattened
- executives have become more insensitive to workers and less humble about their value to the organization
- Human Resources have created a massive bureaucracy that is inhibiting the hiring process
The problem often comes down to the Human Resources department. About the time the Personnel Department became Human Resources, the wizards of bureaucracy established an elaborate maze of hoops and ladders that managers and departments had to push a candidate through to hire a person. Their stated justification for their hiring procedures was to avoid liability and discrimination issues.
The truth is that the policies and procedures of Human Resources also keeps their hand in the organizational functions, and that is job security.
What Human Resources is Required to Do
Every company should have safeguards in place to verify the qualifications and backgrounds of potential employees, ensure that all applicants are considered without discrimination (regarding race, color, religion, sex – including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy, national origin, people age 40 or older, disability or genetic information,) and determine a fair and competitive salary/benefit package.
However, only discrimination issues need to be determined for all applicants, and that process must happen before the final selection is completed. Everything else only involves the person that is going to be offered the job.
Once the selection process is completed, Human Resources should be verifying the background and determining the salary and benefits package for the candidate being offered the job. There is no excuse for the final offer process to take longer than a day.
Checking References BS
Wait, I just heard every Human Resource recruiter tell me that the verification of references of a potential employee take forever. References are a joke. Anyone who offers a poor reference is risking a lawsuit, so the time-honored process of checking references is absolutely unnecessary.
Most large organizations complete an I-9 verification, a criminal background check, a credit check, and sometimes a Google Search. A reference is not going to offer as much information as other methods of background checks.
Under the current environment, checking a reference after a job is offered would be acceptable because only something that uncovered a lie by the applicant would be significant, and that would be cause for termination.
Organizations that can’t whip their Human Resources department into reality are risking more failed recruitment searches and watching great people go to their competition.