Common Sense and Effective HR Practices Need to Prevail in Screening Applicants

Recent EEOC hearings and the agency’s first lawsuit arising from screening practices have provided momentum to the federal government’s move to restrict background screening of applicants’ credit and criminal histories. EEOC Chairman Stuart Ishimaru has been a vocal critic of employee background checks, calling for the agency to issue guidelines on how to carry out background checks in a nondiscriminatory manner. Many people say the new guidelines are likely to upend hiring policies based on untested assumptions about criminality and workplace behaviors. HR Managers have long known that ‘one size does not fit all’ in the hiring process and that the most effective hiring processes involve using an array of selection techniques. These techniques include: pre-employment testing (personality and/or skills), handwriting analysis, reference checking, behavioral & structural interviewing, job assessments, job sampling, background screening and more. Any firm that is using background screening as the primary information source to determine who to hire should have their entire HR organization fired. In the end, employers stand to benefit from the new guidelines, which will likely bring greater clarity to what is now a legal quagmire.

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Post By Barry Nixon (262 Posts)

W. Barry Nixon is the COO, the leading background screening information portal and online worldwide directory of professional background screening firms and Suppliers to the background screening industry. He co-authored the landmark book, Background Screening & Investigations: Managing Hiring Risk from the HR and Security Perspective. He also is the publisher of award winning newsletters, The Background Buzz and The Global Background Screener, and the author of the Background Checks column in PI Magazine.

In addition, Barry is a past recipient of the elite ‘Top 25 Influential People in Security’ by Security Magazine and past Co-Chair, International Committee for the National Association for Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). He currently serves as a Global Ambassador for NAPBS.

You can contact Barry at 1-949-770-5264 or online at