In 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published new guidance for how employers should respond to arrests and conviction records on background checks. These rulings are over eight years old. However, they have a ton of influence over how employers can ethically manage their hiring practices. The key to these EEOC rulings is a practice called individualized assessment process.
The individualized assessment process allow candidates with criminal records to explain how their record will not affect their job. Many people with criminal records can excel in certain roles, and individualized assessment exists to give them a fair opportunity for work.
The goal of individualized assessment is to give those with criminal records the chance to move beyond their past while also protecting employers. Paying specific attention to applicants who would like to contextualize their arrests or convictions does take more time and resources. However, your extra time could give someone the opportunity to start a new life while keeping those whose crimes would interfere with their work away from your organization.
Individualized assessments are all about the balance between giving all candidates a fair chance and protecting your organization. It is ethical and honorable to ensure you give every candidate a fair chance, but there are ways to simplify the individualized assessment process.
The easiest way to streamline the individualized assessment process is to know what to ask when a candidate has a criminal record. Prior to an interview, you should evaluate the nature and gravity of the candidate’s offense, determine how long ago the offense occurred and consider whether the offense has any relevance to the job they applied for. These three considerations are called the “Green factors” after the court case in which they were created. You can learn specific offenses and when they happened in the candidate’s One Source background check.
Once you have established each of the “Green factors” and discussed them with your team, you can then open up the conversation to the job applicant. Ask them to provide context for the offenses in question and give them a chance to explain themselves.
The best thing you can do to hire ethically and fairly while still keeping your organization safe is to listen to your applicants. Not all criminal records should leave someone unemployable forever. If the crime doesn’t relate to the nexus of the position, they could certainly excel.
You can stay efficient and give all applicants a fair chance with tools offered by One Source. Our online portal offers places for applicants to provide context for their records and a place for you to see if they meet your company requirements. With our help, you can offer individualized assessments to those who need it without slowing down your hiring process. One Source is committed to helping you find the right employees in a timely manner while hiring ethically. If you have any questions about background check ethics or hiring practices, please reach out to the One Source Client Relations team.