As a business owner or hiring manager, one of the most important aspects of your job when bringing new employees into the fold is to avoid bias at all times. Not only is it ethically wrong to show bias against a certain group or a particular person, doing so can put you in some legal hot water.
This responsibility extends to all aspects of the hiring process, including information that you find out on a resume, during the interview process, and even in a background search. Let's take a look at what you might find in each of these three areas of the hiring process and briefly discuss the types of bias that you may need to avoid.
What You Might Discover on a Resume
Your first exposure to a potential applicant is when he or she sends you a resume for perusal. Most resumes are nothing more than basic information about the candidate that relates to their work history, educational background, pertinent skills, and similar information. Therefore, you probably won’t need to worry about avoiding any bias at this point, but it’s still something you may need to be aware of. After all, if a previous employer has been implicated in any wrongdoings or if the person's educational history includes a university that may be less than impressive to you personally, then bias may come into play.
What You Might Discover in an Interview
The interview process is where you truly learn the most about an individual. This is also where bias is most likely to become an issue for the ethically challenged. As a business owner or hiring manager, you are already aware that it is essential that you ignore a person’s gender, age, race, creed, etc. Also, while you must never ask a person about his or her sexual orientation, indicators could come up in conversation. If that happens, then you must ignore this as it relates to any and all hiring decisions. As an ethical person living in 2018, you should be above taking any such elements into consideration. The same goes for discriminating against pregnant women, working moms, etc.
What You Might Discover in a Background Check
Unless the applicant has lied profusely about their education and work history, you probably won’t have to worry about bias in those types of searches. However, where you may need to avoid bias is in the running of criminal records. You may discover certain details about a person’s past that could lead to showing bias against that individual. This could cause you to leap to certain conclusions, especially - in the most egregious violations involving bias - as the crimes relate to a person’s gender, sexual orientation, race, creed, etc.
What You Might Discover in Social Media - and Why You Shouldn’t Even Check
Employers in the past have considered social media to be “fair game” when it came to learning about potential employees. This would often lead to bias against an individual based on political affiliation, sexual orientation, and even photos that an individual had shared amongst his or her friends. In recent years, though, laws have been put into place in the state of Colorado and many other states that prohibit employers from accessing an employee’s or potential employee’s personal social media profiles, especially when doing so has the intention of influencing a hiring decision.
Avoiding bias during the hiring process in an essential role for business owners and hiring managers. However, it is important that you not skip any portion of the process, including obtaining a background search on a potential employee. To learn more about how NationSearch can assist you with work history verification, education verification, criminal record searches, drug test results, and more, reach out to our experts today.