SELECT PERSPECTIVES BLOG

Is It Legal to Avoid Hiring Smokers? (And Should You?)

Posted by  Alissa Parr, Ph.D.

hiring-smokers.jpgThe objectives of most hiring processes are to identify and retain individuals who are going to be productive and efficient workers as well as those who embody the values of the organization. Organizations invest in employees. They want to see a return on their investment for individuals.

Most of the time, organizations focus on how employee performance and engagement will help them move toward that goal. However, another element that organizations may consider is how employees will create revenue for the organization and save the organization money. How, might you ask?

Recently, there has been a trend to include a question within the application process that asks about a personal habit: smoking. Organizations are using this question as a knock-out question. If people admit to smoking, they will not be hired. At first, this seems irrelevant to the job…but let’s take a closer look at this topic.


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Selective Hiring: Is It Really Illegal?

Posted by  Alissa Parr, Ph.D.

employee-selectionHave you ever noticed that when you go into an ethnic restaurant, the majority of the servers tend to represent that ethnicity? Most sushi places have Asian servers and Mexican cuisine restaurants have Latino servers. Do you think this is a coincidence? Alternatively, if you had a White waiter serve you sushi at a Japanese restaurant, would you be surprised and would this alter your meal experience? I recently listened to a podcast produced by the authors of Freakonomics that addressed a question related to this. In particular, do ethnic restaurants racially profile their employees and is it legal to do so?

The major question underlying this podcast is whether it is acceptable target recruitment towards a specific race/ethnicity and make hiring decisions based on one’s race/ethnicity. More specifically, in the restaurant industry, would the answer to this question differ? I immediately had an opinion about this topic, but was very interested to hear what they would say. Surprisingly, there were a few different opinions on the answer throughout the podcast, though.


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When Free Pre-Employment Assessment Tests Become Expensive

Posted by  Matthew O'Connell, Ph.D.

124322561Companies use tests as part of their pre-employment selection process for a number of reasons. One of them is to efficiently screen a large number of candidates into a more manageable number. Another reason is to accurately and fairly identify individuals who are more likely to be successful on the job. The use of accurate tools in the selection process can significantly improve a company’s chances of selecting the right people.

Most studies that look at the return on investment (ROI) for improved selection processes show that the cost of more accurate screening tools is almost atrivial expense when compared to the return in terms of hiring better people who are less likely to turnover. For instance, if using a more accurate test would help you hire a salesperson who sold $100,000 more every year than another person, wouldn’t you be willing to spend $1,000 for that test? Put that way, the answer is obvious. The problem is the situation is never that simple, or at least it doesn’t seem that simple. There are two things working against us when we make decisions about comparing tests and selection systems.


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Healthcare Financial Pressures Make Successful Hiring Systems an Imperative, Not a Luxury

Posted by  Bryan Warren

Healthcare providers are already feeling the pressure of increasing costs and declining reimbursements.  We are seeking ways to do more with less.  Unlike other industries, though, in healthcare we can’t simply cut staff, cut costs and perhaps even skimp on quality to get by.  At the same time that our resources are being

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I have Adverse Impact. What do I do now?

Posted by  Amie Lawrence, Ph.D.

As discussed in the previous blog, having adverse impact against a protected group does not mean that your selection processes are “bad” or discriminatory. There are many factors that affect adverse impact, including the applicant pool, minimum standards, sample size and the formula that is used to determine if it exists.

The existence of adverse impact opens the door to potential legal challenges.  Two government agencies, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), act as the investigatory and enforcement agencies that examine unfair hiring practice allegations. The list below describes suggestions for ensuring that you have the information needed to


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The Big AI

Posted by  Amie Lawrence, Ph.D.

A friend of mine recently had a health scare. While the doctors were trying to diagnose her, people would whisper – do you think it is the “Big C?” It was like saying the word (cancer), might bring on some curse or cause everyone within earshot to be stricken with it. Many HR professionals act the same way when it comes to adverse impact. Discussions about adverse impact happen

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Are Your Hiring and Promotion Decisions Compliant with OFCCP and EEOC Guidelines?

Posted by  Bryan Warren

OFCCP-complianceWhy are so many hospitals focused on improving their hiring and promotion systems? It’s primarily about reducing costs and enhancing quality. Hospitals need to reduce the costs associated with turnover and work-related injuries. They need to eliminate applicants who are likely to commit medical errors while improving patient satisfaction scores. They need a workforce that is service focused and able to thrive in a ‘lean’ environment. Just as important, but not as often their first thought – reducing legal risk. There is heightened scrutiny of hospitals by the OFCCP and EEOC. Over 15,000 Federal employment discrimination suits are filed each year. Nearly 100,000 EEOC claims result in recoveries of almost $400 Million.Hospitals saw an 18.6% rise in EEOC bias claims in 2010, and the healthcare industry as a whole saw a 21.7% increase. (HealthLeaders Media's article EEOC Healthcare Bias Complaints on the Rise.)


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