Legal Issues

Legal Trends: Employment Selection Systems – How Risky is Yours?

Friday, March 16th, 2012

With a doctorate in I-O psychology, one side of me is a trained ‘talent selection system designer’. A big part of what we learn in grad school, and then apply in the real world, is the legal compliance side of testing. There are a raft of regulations to consider (i.e. the EEOC Uniform Guidelines and OFCCP compliance) to help companies avoid discrimination through testing. And I’ll tell you from experience, most companies are very concerned about keeping their legal risks low (they’d love them to be ‘nil’, which is difficult if not impossible) when planning a selection process or system to implement. (more…)

Great Guide To Best Practices for Pre-Employment Assessment

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

I recently came across a really nice summary of best practices published by PreVisor, a vendor of pre-employment assessment tools.  I think this guide is worth sharing.

Rocket-Hire is a vendor neutral consultancy and as such we choose not to promote specific products and services offered by assessment vendors.  We do however, work hard to help promote an understanding of best practices for pre-employment assessment.  Assessment is a complex topic that is often confusing for those who are just getting started.  There is a lack of quality information available to help those looking for quick info on how to properly use testing.

Please understand that the purpose of sharing this post is to help promote quality resources about best practices for assessment, not to promote PreVisor.


Don’t Be Chicken When It Comes To Documentation

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

I can’t over-emphasize the need for proper documentation for your hiring process. Companies without a clear explanation of the various components of the hiring process and their job relatedness are crusin for a brusin!!  This is especially true in situations where the applicant population is usually made up mostly of minorities.

A recent settlement against Perdue Chicken is the latest illustration of what can happen when a company elects to forgo the documentation needed to prove their practices are in compliance.

Perdue’s head of HR regretfully states:

“Perdue is committed to treating all job applicants fairly. We regret we did not more carefully document our hiring process for production associates, which led to these concerns by the OFCCP and, ultimately, to this settlement.”

Ultimately this mistake cost Perdue $800,000 in back wages and interest to 750 women and minorities who were not hired during the relevant time period. As someone who is in the business of creating and documenting legally defensible hiring practices, I can say confidently that it would have cost them a heck of a lot less to have done things correctly.

The current economic and political climate has led to an increase in EEOC and OFCCP compliance investigations meaning that cases like this one are going to continue to be in the news.

The timeless words of Ben Franklin, ” An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” have never been more relevant when it comes to your hiring practices!! As an added bonus, properly validated hiring practices (of which documentation is a key part) have been shown time and again to provide significant ROI in addition to the piece of mind one gets from helping to ensure compliance.

Twitter and Facebook Recruitment Hazards

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

by Mark C. Healy

According to a recent Workforce Management piece, recruiting on the likes of Twitter and Facebook could lead to allegations of discrimination and get you into legal trouble. Quoting various attorneys, author Fay Hansen suggests that the social networking world is both too young and White, leading to a risky recruiting process; moreover, she suggests that recruiters are relying too much on their Tweets.

The logic is a little suspect. Unless hiring under the terms of a consent decree, most organizations aren’t under any specific limitations in their sourcing efforts. Moreover, discrimination claims come from applicants, who presumably responded to a posting or advertisement. As such, it would be hard to sue a company on the grounds of discriminatory sourcing if you, in fact, applied at that company.

Few recruiters report that they recruit exclusively through social networking sites. However, plaintiffs could possibly use the strategy as evidence of intentional discrimination in a disparate treatment claim. At the very least, spending time sourcing on such sites but ignoring traditional candidate pools is simply limiting your strategy.

A more relevant concern not mentioned is using Facebook and MySpace profiles to make decisions about candidates. It seems that this is a widespread practice, though no rigorous studies can pinpoint its prevalence or how fast it’s growing. Nonetheless, this is often an undocumented process, something a recruiter does in the margins of a hiring initiative, though many candidates don’t maintain much of a social networking presence.

Judge for yourself by clicking over to Workforce Management here and be sure to check out the rather opinionated comments.