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Via Forbes : From Open Hiring To Negligent Hiring: How To Reduce Risk And Promote Inclusivity

As employers face a critical talent shortage amongst historically low unemployment rates, organizations are turning to untraditional methods to source workers. While it’s not uncommon for a job listing to include a set of requirements for the position, what if those prerequisites were limited only to the ability to lift over 50 pounds, stand for eight hours, and be authorized to work the United States? No “previous experience required.” No “college degree preferred” or minimum GPA necessary. No verifiable qualifications demanded. That’s what candidates for employment at The Body Shop’s retail stores will find in store for them come this summer.

Open Hiring

Open hiring policies abandon traditional pre-employment screening, such as criminal background checks, drug tests, and verifications of employment, education, and references in favor of, “replacing scrutiny with trust.” In most cases, there’s not even an interview – any interested worker is eligible for hire.

While the unemployment rate in the U.S. lingers around 3.6%, that still represents an estimated 5.9 million people who are without a job. And for many of these individuals, their past histories, which may include criminal convictions, present barriers from getting a paycheck. In fact, one in three adults in America, or an estimated 77 million individuals, have a criminal record, and around 2.2 million individuals are currently inmates in the federal or state penitentiary systems. What’s more, criminal recidivism rates show that about four in nine ex-offenders will re-offend at least once during their first year out of prison.

And that’s where open hiring fills a gap.

From Greyston To The Body Shop

Since 1982, New York-based Greyston Bakery has utilized an open hiring model to “accept an individual based on current actions and future potential, not judge them on their past.” Open hiring hopes to curb criminal recidivism by getting people employed.

Greyston maintains a waiting list of individuals wanting a job. When a position opens up, the person at the top of the list gets invited to complete a paid internship at their bakery. Upon successful completion of the course, a full-time job is theirs. It’s that simple. Around 75% of Greyston’s bakery staff, which comprises close to 80 workers, have come through their open hiring model.

After consulting with Greyston and piloting open hiring at their distribution center in North Carolina, The Body Shop recently announced that it will adopt an open hiring model for its retail associates in the United States. Much like Greyston, candidates seeking employment at The Body Shop will be hired on a first-come-first-served basis, absent background screening, or drug testing.

By comparison to Greyston, the deployment of open hiring at The Body Shop is massive. The Body Shop employs around 1,000 retail workers during peak seasons, with 10,000 employees in total and annual revenue close to $1 billion dollars. And with size comes greater risk.

Negligent Hiring

Employers must act reasonably when hiring, supervising and retaining workers. Negligent hiring occurs when an employer fails to verify that a prospective employee may present a danger to the organization. Negligent hiring claims can be brought by an individual when an employer fails to screen a worker adequately, and that worker subsequently harms someone else.

In making a negligent hiring claim, the harmed individual argues that the business knew or should have known their worker’s background history before hiring them. While states have defined the elements necessary to prove a negligent hiring claim, at their most basic, the harmed party must establish:

  1. The employer owed a “duty of care” to others when hiring the worker
  2. The employer breached that duty
  3. The breach was the cause of the injury or harm
  4. The injury or harm was reasonably foreseeable
  5. Damages resulted from the employer’s inaction.

The bottom line: If an employer is not diligent in assessing a worker’s background and that worker harms someone, that employer could be on the line for the worker’s actions. And employers are responsible for the ongoing supervision of their workers and ensuring that their retention does not indicate foreseeable harm to the organization’s workforce or its clients.

Case In Point

Successful negligent hiring claims are disruptive to business and are avoidable. The number of lawsuits filed against organizations are numerous, with settlements averaging more than $1 million, and court awards often exceeding several million dollars.

Take the case of a healthcare provider who failed to perform a background check on its employee who subsequently murdered a client and his grandmother. A criminal background check would have revealed six felony convictions. Instead, two individuals are dead, and the company paid out $26.5 million to the Plaintiff, including $18 million in punitive damages.

In the manufacturing space, an employee shot and killed a coworker as a result of a workplace confrontation. If the employer had conducted a criminal background check and requested a reference check of former employers, the employer would have learned that the Defendant had multiple criminal convictions, including carrying an illegal weapon on the job site. The employer was found liable for negligent hiring, supervision, and retention.

And in retail, the actions range the gamut from allegations of sexual assault of a child customer to incidents resulting in the murder of coworkers. In all cases, the employer is held accountable for the actions of their employee if they could have reasonably foreseen the consequences of their employee’s actions.

Balancing Inclusivity With Risk

While open hiring models are admirable, they introduce risk to an organization that comes with legal liabilities associated with negligent hiring. Directly inquiring into and verifying an individual’s past can help to reduce an employer’s risk of a negligent hiring claim. Some states have even passed legislation that protects organizations from negligent hiring claims when hiring ex-offenders. And most employers are amenable to working with individuals with criminal records.

Here are some tips to avoid a negligent hiring claim while supporting inclusive hiring:

· Eliminate barriers in the pre-hire process

Ban the Box measures delay when an employer can inquire into a candidate’s criminal history. In some cases, they may also include special notice requirements and may also limit the types of criminal information that an employer can consider when making their suitability decision. Even if you are not in one of the 34 jurisdictions in the U.S. that have enacted a ban the box law, you might consider removing the criminal history question from your job postings and application so that all individuals are encouraged to apply regardless of their criminal history.

· Trust but verify

Ask candidates to disclose their former employment and education history. Verify that information looking for gaps in a candidate’s past. Engage in an open discussion with the candidate to understand how life events have shaped their work history; professional references that solicit substantive information can help develop a picture of the individual as a worker.

· Equitably assess criminal history

Employers should avoid blanket policies that exclude individuals from hire. Instead, employers should create policies that promote fair hiring practices. In particular, employers are encouraged to following the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidance and consider:

  • The nature and gravity of the crime
  • The time that has passed since the crime or completion of the sentence
  • The relationship of the crime to the worker’s ability to perform the job without reasonable cause of harm to the organization

· Screen proportional to role

Not all workers introduce the same amount of risk to an organization. Employers should consider tailoring their background screening practices to align with the roles their workers will fill. Identity verifications and reviews of previous employment and references should be a must for all workers. Criminal record searches and drug testing may be relevant for some positions but not others. And industries like energy, finance, healthcare, and transportation must meet specific minimum background check requirements as identified within the regulations that govern them.

· Benchmark to avoid negligence

Remember that negligence results when an organization falls below a reasonable standard of care. Employers should network with other businesses in their industry to set a baseline for screening. Falling below that baseline could be evidence of negligent hiring practices.

Good Intentions May Lead To Bad Consequences

While open hiring models are a novel way to approach recruiting, employers should proceed cautiously and understand the legal risks associated with adopting an open hiring model. Employers can still foster inclusivity and embrace change for the better while taking reasonable measures to protect their workforce and guests through effective background screening.

Via Fast Company : The Body Shop will start hiring the first person who applies for any retail job

No interviews, no background checks, no drug tests. When there is a job available, just answer three yes-or-no questions and the job is yours. It’s a new philosophy called “open hiring”—and it works.

Almost all retailers run background checks on prospective employees—one of the many obstacles for people who were formerly incarcerated and are now trying to find a job. For other job seekers, a drug screening for marijuana might cost them a position even in states where recreational use is legal. This summer, the Body Shop will become the first large retailer to embrace a different approach, called “open hiring.” When there’s an opening, nearly anyone who applies and meets the most basic requirements will be able to get a job, on a first-come, first-served basis.

The company piloted the practice, which was pioneered by the New York social enterprise Greyston Bakery, in its North Carolina distribution center at the end of 2019. “We’re not asking for your background check,” says Andrea Blieden, the general manager of the Body Shop for the U.S. “We’re not asking for you to be drug screened. And there’s only three questions to get a job. It’s, ‘Are you authorized to work in the U.S.? Can you stand for up to eight hours? And can you lift over 50 pounds?’ If those three questions are answered, then we will give you a chance to come work in our distribution center.”

At Greyston, this approach to hiring is a fundamental part of the business, which sells baked goods to customers such as Whole Foods and Ben & Jerry’s. “At the heart of it, Greyston’s mission is to impact people facing barriers to employment,” says CEO Mike Brady. The social enterprise’s slogan reads, “We don’t hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people.” When there’s an opening, the job is filled from a list of people looking for work. New hires start as apprentices and get training in both how to do the job and basic life skills; those who decide to stay after the apprenticeship get an entry-level job and the opportunity to advance. The system works well enough that the company sold 8 million pounds of brownies in 2019, making $22 million. This year, Greyston launched a nonprofit, the Center for Open Hiring, in 2018 to help other businesses implement the same process.

“There was then a lot of momentum around business as a force for good, and we were leveraging that momentum and began to work on a strategy to scale open hiring,” Brady says. “And there’s now, as we all know, a ton of tailwind around just finding employees and getting talented people in the organization. Thankfully, people are thinking differently about how to bring good people into their business.”

Roughly a year ago, the Body Shop learned about the approach, when Greyston gave the company a presentation along with other social enterprises and activists who were invited to an internal launch of a new brand purpose—”We exist to fight for a fairer, more beautiful world.” Greyston’s talk resonated. “It really ignited all of us to think about how we can become a more inclusive employer and how we can implement open hiring practices in our business,” says Blieden.

By June, the retailer’s entire HR team in the U.S. had flown to the bakery’s manufacturing plant to see, firsthand, how the bakery hired staff and helped its employees build careers. The team visited again in September and then began meeting with supervisors at its own distribution center, saying that they wanted to move quickly and pilot the new approach by the time the center was hiring seasonal staff for the holidays. The distribution center hires more than 200 people as seasonal staff.

The results were striking: Monthly turnover in the distribution center dropped by 60%. In 2018, the Body Shop’s distribution center saw turnover rates of 38% in November and 43% in December. In 2019, after they began using open hiring, that decreased to 14% in November and 16% in December. The company only had to work with one temp agency instead of three.

Supervisors told Blieden that seasonal staff were approaching them to share their stories. “They said things like, ‘I’ve been struggling to find a job. This is one of the only places that would hire me, and I’m not going to mess this up,’” she says. “When you give people access to something that they’re struggling to find, they’re very committed to working hard and keeping it.”

Greyston has seen similar benefits with retention rates. A Johns Hopkins study also found that employers who “banned the box” and stopped asking applicants if they had a criminal record also had less turnover. The Body Shop also saw increases in productivity—likely not solely due to the change in staff, it says, but a sign that both internal processes and staff were improving. “That’s just a demonstration that we have these biases in our recruiting system that are preventing good people from getting into the workforce,” Brady says. At the Body Shop, the money saved in recruiting, screening résumés, interviews, and background checks will be redirected into training, employee benefits, and programs to support new employees with challenges such as transportation issues that can make it difficult for employees to get to work on time.

The Body Shop plans to expand the practice to all of its retail stores this summer, where it employs around 800 people, and as many as 1,000 during the holidays. It’s not a pilot, but a permanent shift in how it handles hiring. “I think for us, it was, if you believe in it, just go ahead and do it,” says Blieden. “The more time that you spend trying to figure out how you’re going to do it—and what is it going to look like, and what do people need to be worried about, and what do you have to prepare for—the more you hinder your company’s ability to do something like open hiring. Because you create the bias and you create the barrier. So for us, in our distribution center, the biggest learning was do it. Go fast. Try it and see what happens.”

It’s something that Greyston hopes will inspire more companies to follow. “The Body Shop acted with urgency because they saw the need,” Brady says. “And I hope other businesses that learn about this model can learn from the Body Shop’s example and act with the same level of urgency, because our community needs change. And businesses need to adopt good new business models that work for them.”

Top 8 worst hiring practices

Posted by | February 3, 2020 | Employer, Hiring

Via In The Black : Top 8 worst hiring practices

Two experts share their list of pet peeves in the recruitment process. Whether it’s a jobseeker suddenly dropping off the face of the earth or an employer asking a “vanilla question” – all are highly undesirable.

By Jessica Mudditt

1. Ghosting

“Ghosting” is a modern dating term that is now being applied to the workplace context. Ghosting occurs when someone vanishes into thin air and abruptly ends all contact. It could be a job candidate who agrees to an interview but fails to turn up, or does a no-show on what was supposed to be their first day of work. It could be a potential employer who goes silent and ignores repeated requests for an update. Ghosting is becoming more common and some say it is facilitated by digital communications, as it is relatively easy to disappear online.

“Your reputation is completely tarnished as a result of ghosting, both from a company standpoint and as an individual. I don’t understand how people could behave so poorly, but it’s become prevalent,” says Nicole Gorton, a director at specialised recruitment firm Robert Half.

2. Breadcrumbing

This no-no is another dating term. Being professionally breadcrumbed involves being led on by a trail of “crumbs” or false promises. In recruitment, it tends to be a job offer that never materialises, or a job that turns out to be substantially different.

“I like to think that it’s not intentional,” Gorton says. “Often, whoever is responsible for communicating with the candidate has moved too fast and then backtracked after realising that they don’t have internal alignment – they’ve made promises to the candidate that they can’t uphold. They think they’re keeping them ‘warm’ by saying nothing, but the person is getting colder because there is no follow-through.”

3. Too much reliance on psychometric testing

Psychometric testing is a useful way of measuring aptitude, intelligence and personality. It can be helpful in whittling down a large number of candidates.

However, there are limits to its usefulness, says Michael Fingland, managing director of corporate leadership firm Vantage Performance in Brisbane.

“One of the big mistakes that a lot of companies make is placing too much emphasis on test results. Psychometric testing isn’t always accurate, and it should only be used as a guide. It shouldn’t account for more than 15 per cent of the overall decision.”

4. Rushing

Taking too long to decide to recruit a new team member can sabotage the entire process, warns Fingland.

“Firms often don’t hire until they’re already under-resourced. When you’re flat out, you’re more likely to rush the decision and make the wrong choice.”

He recommends meeting a potential candidate at least three times and having them meet the entire team over an informal lunch. The natural flow of conversation will reveal a lot about the candidate’s values and whether they are aligned with the company.

“There’s a saying: ‘Fire quickly, hire slow’. You want to make sure you’ve got a really good cultural fit,” he says.

5. Using a vague job description

“It’s such an easy mistake to make, but we come across this a lot with clients who are going through turnarounds or high growth. They haven’t put together proper job descriptions and when the candidate comes for an interview, the actual job isn’t at all what they expected,” Fingland says.

This is a waste of everyone’s time, so it’s important to create a job description that is specific and comprehensive. Cut and pasting from similar jobs is sloppy and results in qualified candidates not applying.

6. Failing to do reference checks

Reference checks are quick and easy to complete, yet all too often recruiters skip this vital step. They do so at their peril, says Fingland.

“When people are busy, they may think, ‘Oh, it all looks good – this person has references from two big-name firms’. It’s a mistake not to actually contact them,” Fingland says.

Reference checks can save a lot of future hassle because sometimes a person may look great on paper, but could be challenging to work with. Alternatively, a glowing reference for someone who was having an off day during the interview may mean they deserve to be reconsidered.

7. A lack of preparation

It’s important for candidates to research not only the company, but also the people who will be interviewing them. This shows initiative and interest, and makes for a better conversation.

“Nowadays it isn’t difficult to ascertain a lot of information about individuals,” Gorton says. “There is LinkedIn and the company’s website. It’s not difficult to Google someone, but people often don’t do it.”

8. Asking vague interview questions

Trotting out the same interview questions each time there is a vacancy will not deliver many insights about the candidates.

“A lot of companies ask what I call ‘vanilla questions’ – they are so generic as to be meaningless. An example could be, ‘Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?’ This is hypothetical, fluffy stuff that doesn’t uncover whether the person can do the job,” Gorton says.

She instead suggests asking a candidate to provide an example of how they dealt with a particular challenge at a previous company, and what the impact of their decisions was.

Via HRM Asia : HRM Five: Tips for hiring the right person

Finding the right person for the job can be a frustrating, time consuming and costly process. Here are some tips for you to land the perfect candidate.

It’s easy to hire someone. It’s another thing to hire the right person for the job.

The entire hiring process can be a frustrating, time consuming and even costly one. An urgent need to fill a position could lead an employer to rush into getting someone in as soon as possible.

That often leads to hiring the wrong person whose attitude and skills – or a lack of it – could end up being a mismatch for your company. And that is something which could be prevented and spotted.

While finding the right talent shouldn’t take forever, it’s important for employers to improve their hiring process so as to maximise their chances of landing the perfect candidate for the role and the company.

Here are some tips that you can use the next time you look to hire someone. You can thank us later.

1) Define the job clearly

Nothing could be worst than hiring someone who does not know fully what is required of him in the job he applied for. So the first and perhaps most important part of hiring is to define the job scope and responsibilities as clear and accurate in your job posting. This will allow the candidates to have a better idea if he or she is suited and capable for the role before applying for it, thus improving the quality of applications.

2) Prescreen your candidates

Another way to avoid wasting time on the wrong candidates is to prescreen them before inviting them down for an interview. While a candidate may look good on paper, a prescreening interview over the phone will tell you if they are truly a fit with the job. You can also find out their salary expectations and overall attitude.

3) Review credentials and qualifications carefully

In this increasingly digital world, where most – if not all – candidates apply for jobs online. And there are some who will try to game the system by being dishonest about their qualifications and credentials. So it’s important to perform a thorough reference check to ensure the person you are hiring is indeed as qualified as he or she claims to be.

4) Ask the right job interview questions

So you invited the candidate down for an interview. This is probably the best chance for you to determine whether he or she is the right person for the role. And the only way to do it is to ask the right questions. Asking the wrong questions not only waste the time of both parties, it could lead you to making the wrong judgement. So make sure your interview questions are aligned with the role to get the most accurate answers out of the candidate.

5) Get ‘social’ with your candidates

No, we are not asking you to invite your candidates for a drink or be their friend – yet. With practically everyone having a social media presence in this digital age, you can easily do a search of their profile – be it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. This will give you an insight of the candidate’s personality and if he or she fits the culture of the company.

Via HR News : Hiring a new employee: a checklist

If you’re looking to add a new recruit to your team, there are several items that you need to remember before you sign the contract. No matter whether you’re doing this for the first time, or you’ve done this many times over the years: you’ll want to know you’re doing the process correctly.

These are just some of the points you need to think about when picking a potential colleague for your company. Many will be familiar to you – but there may be some that will be a surprise.

Do background checks

You can use DBS check service to carry out a pre-employment screening, depending on the sensitivity of the role for which you’re interviewing. This will allow you to find out details about a candidate’s criminal record. However, you will need their permission to do this. You can also use references to check on a candidate’s work history and suitability, but again, you can’t contact their current employer until you’ve got permission from the interviewee.

Define a job description

It’s important that you ask yourself this question at this point: who do I want to hire? It might seem like a simple query, but you should have a detailed and in-depth response.

First, think about the tasks that need to be completed by that role. Someone who is a server at a restaurant, for example, will need to take food orders, use a point-of-sale system, provide great customer service, and work long hours on their feet. You can read job descriptions from other brands’ posts if you need help writing yours. The job spec needs to be as detailed as possible to avoid any misunderstandings.

Follow the law

Make sure you know about your legal obligations as an employer. This is so you can protect yourself from insolvency in case one of your employees gets injured at work.

Check you have the correct insurance cover, although you may wish to have more than the minimum requirement. This might be necessary if your employees will be carrying out duties such as climbing ladders, lifting heavy items, or other dangerous tasks.

There are also laws about how to hire and fire employees. You should have certain parameters for your job posting and interview questions to comply with equal employment opportunity legislation.

Outline contract and employee rights

Once you have selected a candidate, you need to make sure to have the correct forms and paperwork for your new employee. The first should be an offer letter – you can then follow this up with a non-disclosure agreement, employment contract, and employee handbook. There may be other forms to be completed before your new team member can start, too.

Plan the onboarding process

This plan should give your newest recruit the chance to get oriented and begin to contribute to your company. Give them a tour of your site, introduce them to important vendors and contractors, and provide a space for them to work. This will help promote employee engagement from day one.