What can employers ask during the hiring process?

resigning due to resume fraud, many employers are stepping back and realizing how important it is to run proper background checks on potential employees. Screening during the hiring process There is no doubt that a thorough screening of job applicants and employees is a great way to ensure you have an effective and productive workforce. In fact, here are a few high profiles cases of resume fraud which emphasize that such things can happen to any business – both big and small: 2012: Scott Thompson steps down as chief executive of Yahoo after it comes to light he didn’t have a computer science degree from Stonehill College as claimed on his resume. 2007: Marilee Jones resigns as dean of admissions at MIT, admitting she falsified her credentials when she first went to work for the university 28 years prior. 2006: Dave Edmundson steps down after eight months as CEO of RadioShack and 11 years with the company. He had claimed two college degrees but had none. 2002: Ronald Zarrella offers to step down as CEO of Bausch & Lomb when it is revealed he doesn’t have an M.B.A. from New York University, as stated on his resume. He loses a big bonus but remains on the job until 2008. 2001: George O’Leary steps down as head football coach at Notre Dame five days after being hired, having falsely claimed to have a master’s degree in education and to have played college football for three years. 1987: Then-Sen. Joe Biden drops out of the presidential race amid revelations of plagiarism and false claims about having received a full scholarship to law school and having earned three undergraduate degrees. However – while screening is important, employers also have to be careful that they don’t cross the line and ask inappropriate, illegal and unethical questions. Do’s and Don’ts of the screening process Along with the rights and wrongs of background screening, there are also some do’s and don’ts when it comes to what sort of questions you can ask, and information you can obtain. According to Les Rosen, here is a quick guide: Generally OK To Ask About

  • Aliases/previous identities
  • Proof of age if hires must be at least 18
  • Legal status to work
  • Criminal convictions or pending charges
  • Educational attainment
  • Military service
Not OK
  • Questions that lead to disclosure of ages above 40
  • Citizenship/national original
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marital status
Sometimes OK
  • Arrests
  • Disability — questions can be asked about ability to perform specific required task but not about general level of disability, treatment or time missed in previous jobs.
“You don’t want to have a police state,” Rosen says, “but you also don’t want any liar or miscreant to get any job they want.” All in all, there are admittedly quite a few hurdles for employers when running background checks. Nonetheless, the positives of performing a thorough screening process far outweigh these hurdles and we would firmly suggest all businesses have a screening process in place. If you’re thinking about how to create your own background screening program, we can help you get started.]]>

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