Category Archives: Employment Screening

How to Hire

Source: Patty McCord, Harvard Business Review, January-February 2018

…. Making great hires is about recognizing great matches—and often they’re not what you’d expect. ….

…. In this article I’ll describe what I’ve learned about making great hires during my 14 years at Netflix and in subsequent consulting on culture and leadership. The process requires probing beneath the surface of people and their résumés; engaging managers in every aspect of hiring; treating your in-house recruiters as true business partners; adopting a mindset in which you’re always recruiting; and coming up with compensation that suits the performance you need and the future you aspire to. My observations may be especially relevant to fast-growing tech-based firms, whose rapid innovation means a continual need for new talent. But organizations of all types can benefit from taking a fresh look at their hiring and compensation practices. ….

Smoky Lines: Whether to Accommodate Employees’ Use of Medicinal Marijuana May Now Depend on State Law

Source: Lindsey A. White, Shelby Skeabeck, and Jeremy Himmelstein, Labor Law Journal, Vol. 68, Issue No. 4, Winter 2017
(subscription required)

The interplay between federal law–which bans marijuana for any purpose–and state law, which increasingly permits marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes, is presenting a challenging legal landscape for employers. Following a handful of recent court decisions, the general advice that employers could flatly prohibit marijuana use and did not have to provide accommodations has gone up in smoke.

Who Gets Hired? The Importance of Competition among Applicants

Source: Edward P. Lazear, Kathryn L. Shaw, Christopher T. Stanton, Journal of Labor Economics, Volume 36, Number S1, January 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Being hired into a job depends not only on one’s own skill but also on that of other applicants. When another able applicant applies, a well-suited worker may be forced into unemployment or into accepting an inferior job. A model of this process defines over- and underqualification and provides predictions on its prevalence and on the wages of mismatched workers. It also implies that unemployment is concentrated among the least skilled workers, while vacancies are concentrated among high-skilled jobs. Four data sets are used to confirm the implications and establish that the hiring probability is low when competing applicants are able.

Are Zero Tolerance Drug Testing Policies About to Go Up in Smoke?

Source: Nathaniel M. Glasser, Employee Benefit Plan Review, Vol. 72 no. 2, October 2017
(subscription required)

In an important recent decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently held that a qualifying patient who has been terminated from employment for testing positive for marijuana as a result of her lawful medical marijuana use may state a claim of disability discrimination under that state’s anti-discrimination statute. Much like a similar decision in Rhode Island, this holding has significant implications for employers that drug test for marijuana use because 29 states plus the District of Columbia have enacted legislation legalizing medical or recreational marijuana use, or both.

Can You Fire Someone for Attending a Rally of Racists?

Source: Jon Steingart, Daily Labor Report, August 14, 2017

A campaign to publicly identify participants in white supremacist rallies has been met with calls for employers to fire the protesters. That’s the dilemma Top Dogs in Berkeley, Calif., faced after Twitter user @YesYoureRacist shared a photo it said showed one of the hot dog restaurant’s employees at a demonstration in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend. Participants carried torches and reportedly chanted “white lives matter” and “Jews will not replace us.” The next day, participants showed up carrying Nazi swastikas, Confederate battle flags, and insignia of white supremacist groups…..

Given a test to apply for a job? Watch out if you are not a white man

Source: Will Evans, Reveal, May 23, 2017

There’s a hidden form of discrimination blocking job seekers across the country.

It’s not a cabal of racist, sexist hiring managers colluding to give white men an advantage – though it can have the same effect.

It’s the misuse of employment tests – which measure reading, math and other cognitive skills – that can unfairly disadvantage minorities and women without the employers or the job applicants even realizing it…..

Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index

Source: Quest Diagnostics, May 2017

From the press release:
Drug use in the American workforce, fueled by illicit drugs, reached the highest positivity rate in 12 years, according to an analysis of more than ten million workforce drug test results released today by Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services.

The annual Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ will be presented at the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) annual conference this week in Orlando, Florida. Overall positivity in urine drug testing among the combined U.S. workforce in 2016 was 4.2 percent, a five percent relative increase over last year’s rate of 4.0 percent, and the highest annual positivity rate since 2004 (4.5%).
Related:
Interactive map showing urine drug test positivity in the United States
Full year 2016 tables

When Building a Diverse Workforce, Hiring Is Just the Start

Source: Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene, Governing, May 4, 2017

Diversity has a lot of benefits, but achieving it isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Related:
Diversity at the top: The King County story
Source: Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene, May 16, 2017

Our most recent Governing column looked at growing efforts to increase diversity in the workforce. Local governments and states increasingly work to make sure that their employees mirror the population and many have been successful. But there are far fewer governments that have achieved balanced representation in the top layers of management and salary.

King County has been setting aggressive goals for that top layer. It already has a workforce that generally mirrors the community, says Matias Valenzuela, director of the office of equity and social justice. Now, its aim is to also achieve diversity in its management leadership and staff.

Should Marijuana Be Removed from Pre-Employment Drug Screens?

Source: Roy Maurer, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), April 6, 2017

Employers are facing a conundrum. Should they stop testing applicants for marijuana use now that more states have legalized it for medicinal or recreational purposes and popular acceptance of the substance has spread?

Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana. Eight of those states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington) and the District of Columbia have also legalized marijuana for recreational use.

But the drug remains illegal under federal law, and employers have the right to test for it, even in states where the substance is legal. Not only does federal law conflict with some states’ laws, but state laws also vary, sometimes significantly, challenging multistate employers….