It’s that season again when the fall colors are on display. In addition to the typical autumnal oranges and yellows, this year – being an election year – also offers plenty of red, white, and blue. At the end of the season, we are left with both raking up the leaves and removing our political opinions from our front yards.
As the news media and other organizations vet the candidates’ history and experience, we are left to decide what is important and what can be ignored. Although the type of information and the origin is different for political candidates than it is for employee candidates, what is similar is the challenge of effectively processing what you hear, see and believe. Unlike the political process, in the world of human resources HR professionals have to deal with the employment law, EEOC guidance, I-9 verification, etc. Employers should first consider the EEOC guidance when reviewing background check information that could be used to make a negative hiring decision. Here are a few things employers should keep in mind when analyzing a candidate’s background check:
1.The facts or circumstances surrounding the offense or conduct.
2.The number of offenses for which the individual was convicted.
3.Older age at the time of conviction, or release from prison.
4.Evidence that the individual performed the same type of work, post-conviction with the same or a different employer, with no known incidents of criminal conduct.
5.The length and consistency of employment history before and after the offense or conduct.
6.Rehabilitation efforts, e.g., education/training.
7.Employment or character references and any other information regarding fitness for the particular position
8.Whether the individual is bonded under a federal, state, or local bonding program
Although the EEOC guidelines can be viewed as another hurdle for the HR professional it does not need to suspend pragmatic thinking. As a matter of fact, adjudication tools to assist a company with these steps are now standard in the industry.
Now back to the political season. Wouldn’t it be great if our political polls used the same red, yellow and green process we typically see in the workplace?
It was halfway through spring semester of my junior year and the pressure was on. Everyone I knew was looking for summer internships. I had spruced up my resume, lined up my references and applied to numerous marketing and communication internships. Then I received an email requesting I set up a phone interview, and when that went well, the company brought me in to meet with my prospective team in-person. The next thing I knew, a software company named iCIMS was offering me a marketing internship for the summer.
What happened next took me completely by surprise. I received emails from multiple people welcoming me to the company and I was able to fill out all of my employment paperwork online, before I had even stepped into the office for my first day of work. I was quickly becoming more and more impressed by this process they called “onboarding”.
There is plenty of research regarding the benefits of onboarding. However, having recently gone through the process revealed to me three key elements that are vital for a successful onboarding program:
1. Provide the Technical Tools and Knowledge
- Have a new hire’s work station and all log-ins/user access set up before their arrival.
- Schedule training sessions to educate the new employee on all of the company’s internal systems as well as the roles of the people in their department.
- Reduces time-to-productivity – Employees can start working on small projects even while they are going through training.
- Results in more competent employees and reduces the number of technical questions – New hires will have fewer questions about how the systems work, but will know exactly who can most effectively answer their questions when and if they arise.
2. Make Job Expectations Clear
- Give the new employee clear goals and provide a project plan so they know what is expected of them and understand their role in the bigger picture.
- Reduces “Buyer’s Remorse” – Having a clear understanding of company expectations will ensure new hires are far less likely to regret their acceptance of your job offer.
- Improves Performance – When employees feel like their work matters, they want to perform to the best of their ability. This will ultimately result in targeting company goals and enhance business productivity overall.
3. Engage and Assimilate
- Making new hires feel welcome is the over-arching goal of the entire onboarding process because it can make or break the employee’s decision to stay with your company.
- Increases Engagement – When new employees feel like they fit in with the company culture, they are more invested in their work.
- Increases Optimistic Environment – Employees who have felt accepted and welcome from day one will work more harmoniously with one another and lead to a positive working atmosphere.
Before iCIMS, onboarding had been a foreign concept to me. However, after experiencing it firsthand, I’ve seen how much of a rewarding and beneficial impact it can have on the culture of an entire company.