Category Archives: Employment Screening

The Robots Are Already Here: How Automation Will Shake Up Recruiting

Source: Roy Maurer, SHRM, June 8, 2018

People have been talking about automating recruiting tasks and workflows for years, but recent advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning are starting to make that talk reality.

These technologies allow talent acquisition teams to automate processes that they previously performed manually, eliminating inefficiencies and boosting productivity.

Recruiting automation can be found at all stages of the hiring process, from candidate sourcing and engagement, through scheduling and interviewing, to final selection.

When Giving References, How Truthful Can You Be?

Source: Lisa Nagele-Piazza, HR Magazine, Vol. 63 no. 3, April 2018
(subscription required)

Be aware of your rights and responsibilities under state law.

Let’s be real: The employment relationship doesn’t always end on a positive note. So what can HR professionals lawfully say when they’re asked to vouch for a former—perhaps even infamous—employee as part of a reference check? Can they share that someone was fired or a poor performer? 

The answer is usually yes, as long as you’re being truthful—but be aware of your rights and responsibilities under state law…..

The Mark of a Woman’s Record: Gender and Academic Performance in Hiring

Source: Natasha Quadlin, American Sociological Review, Volume 83, Number: 2, April 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Women earn better grades than men across levels of education—but to what end? This article assesses whether men and women receive equal returns to academic performance in hiring. I conducted an audit study by submitting 2,106 job applications that experimentally manipulated applicants’ GPA, gender, and college major. Although GPA matters little for men, women benefit from moderate achievement but not high achievement. As a result, high-achieving men are called back significantly more often than high-achieving women—at a rate of nearly 2-to-1. I further find that high-achieving women are most readily penalized when they major in math: high-achieving men math majors are called back three times as often as their women counterparts. A survey experiment conducted with 261 hiring decision-makers suggests that these patterns are due to employers’ gendered standards for applicants. Employers value competence and commitment among men applicants, but instead privilege women applicants who are perceived as likeable. This standard helps moderate-achieving women, who are often described as sociable and outgoing, but hurts high-achieving women, whose personalities are viewed with more skepticism. These findings suggest that achievement invokes gendered stereotypes that penalize women for having good grades, creating unequal returns to academic performance at labor market entry.

Suddenly, the Unemployable Are Finding Jobs

Source: Meagan Day, Jacobin, March 14, 2018

With a tightening labor market, CEOs are chasing after the same workers they once derided as unemployable. ….

The post-2008 recession and slow recovery witnessed a spate of reporting and commentary on the so-called “skills gap”. The gist of the argument was that if rates of joblessness remained stubbornly high, it was because workers weren’t good enough for existing jobs: they needed better education, better preparatory training, better skills, and resumes. The bottom line was that workers needed to fix themselves to fit into the economy — not the other way around.

As the economic recovery accelerates, the spuriousness of that argument comes into ever-sharper relief. It turns out corporations were just being picky, taking advantage of a slack labor market and weak demand for their products to discard twenty or a hundred job applications at a time in search of the one perfect employee who — beleaguered by competition and desperate for employment — would work for the wages of an imperfect one.

How do we know that was happening? Because it’s starting to not happen anymore. The labor market is tightening, and companies’ hiring standards are plummeting — showing just how cooked-up those standards were to begin with…..

The Coming Decline of the Employment Drug Test

Source: Rebecca Greenfield, Jennifer Kaplan, Bloomberg, March 5, 2018

Employers are struggling to hire workers in the tightening U.S. job market. Marijuana is now legal in nine states and Washington, D.C., meaning more than one in five American adults can eat, drink, smoke or vape as they please. The result is the slow decline of pre-employment drug tests, which for decades had been a requirement for new recruits in industries ranging from manufacturing to finance…..

Predictive algorithms are no better at telling the future than a crystal ball

Source: Uri Gal, The Conversation, February 11, 2018

An increasing number of businesses invest in advanced technologies that can help them forecast the future of their workforce and gain a competitive advantage.

Many analysts and professional practitioners believe that, with enough data, algorithms embedded in People Analytics (PA) applications can predict all aspects of employee behavior: from productivity, to engagement, to interactions and emotional states.

Predictive analytics powered by algorithms are designed to help managers make decisions that favourably impact the bottom line. The global market for this technology is expected to grow from US$3.9 billion in 2016 to US$14.9 billion by 2023.

Despite the promise, predictive algorithms are as mythical as the crystal ball of ancient times….