BEST PRACTICE #12 FOR PROPER USE OF CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS IN HIRING
Earlier this summer, a group of consultants got together with representatives from the National H.I.R.E. Network, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the National Workrights Institute to publish their recommendations for staying within the lines of the 2012 EEOC guidance on the use of criminal history checks in the course of background screening. Their publication, called Best Practice Standards: The Proper Use of Criminal Records in Hiring, is gaining attention from the industry not so much for being original, but for their conscious effort to deliver the advice that many HR are looking for.
Yet with 15 points of instruction detailed across 30 pages of content, some are still struggling to find time to review this consolidated viewpoint, instead choosing to ring our office for advice. Because Barada is already addressing many of their recommendations in the services we’re delivering to our clients, we thought it prudent to weigh in with our opinion as well point out just how we’re addressing the issue.
Here’s point #12: MINIMIZE CONFLICT OF INTEREST BY DECISION MAKERS
We at Barada Associates agree that there could be a potential conflict of interest when a hiring decision involves a candidate with a criminal history. We also think, however, there is a potential reverse conflict of interest if a supervisor is desperate to fill a vacancy. Stated another way, there may be such an urgent need to fill a vacancy in a particular area that a supervisor might ignore a criminal history that relates directly to the job. Therefore, a third possible solution, as we see it, is a hiring committee composed of all relevant parties – an HR representative, someone from the management team, and a person from the functional area in which the individual will be working. To avoid any type of potential conflict of interest, recognize that hiring decisions probably should rest with a hiring committee. Finally, to insure consistent fair hiring decisions the employer should adopt a “safe hiring policy.”