How to Be Compliant During the Hiring Process
When designing a great hiring experience, interview timelines and candidate flow are often top-of-mind. But the hiring process itself is full of potential compliance risks – from collecting and storing applicant data to monitoring the hiring process itself.
With data breaches becoming increasingly prevalent, even in popular third-party HR platforms, it’s more important than ever for organizations to put preventative measures in place. By understanding the risks, developing policies and procedures to mitigate them, and training HR staff on how to identify and address them, you can ensure a compliant hiring process.
1. Understand the hiring process and which compliance risks are associated with it
The hiring process can be complex. In addition to ensuring that your candidates have a smooth and positive experience, it’s also important to understand the compliance risks. Several potential risks can arise during the hiring process. For example discrimination, failure to follow proper procedures or even bribery. The first step to preventing these risks is to simply be aware of them.
Discrimination is perhaps the most common compliance risk associated with the hiring process. Discrimination claims can occur when an employer improperly considers an applicant’s race, religion, gender, age, or other protected characteristic when making hiring decisions. It can also occur if an employer uses pre-employment tests or screening devices that have a disparate impact on certain groups of people.
Another common compliance risk is failure to follow proper procedures. This can happen when an employer doesn’t follow the required steps in the hiring process. For example, neglecting to conduct background checks or verify references. It can also occur if an employer doesn’t keep accurate records of the hiring process or fails to provide adequate notice of job openings.
Bribery is another potential compliance risk that can arise during the hiring process. This occurs when an employer offers a potential employee something of value in exchange for accepting a job offer. Bribery is illegal in many jurisdictions and can lead to serious consequences for the employer and employee involved.
These are not the only compliance risks associated with hiring but are the most common. By understanding how these situations occur and taking steps to avoid them, you can help ensure a compliant and positive hiring process for your organization.
2. Develop policies and procedures to mitigate compliance risks
The hiring process is full of data collection. From initial applications to candidate screenings, a lot of confidential information is shared between parties.
If your organization has adopted any HR platforms, it’s important to note that these tools often come with their own associated risks. They can be incredibly helpful for streamlining hiring procedures and even mitigating some of the risks we’ve discussed. However, they aren’t immune to data breaches.
When developing policies and procedures to mitigate compliance risks, you should:
- Only collect information that is relevant to the job. Avoid discrimination when collecting applicant data by collecting the data necessary to evaluate the candidate’s qualifications for the job, not the data based on any protected characteristics. For example, an employer shouldn’t collect information about an applicant’s race or gender unless it’s relevant to the job listing.
- Follow data protection legislation. All personal data collected from job applicants must be processed according to data protection legislation. This includes ensuring that applicants are aware of their rights concerning their data and that only the minimum amount of data necessary is collected. It also includes implementing proper data archiving practices.
- Keep applicant data secure. Collected data should be protected from unauthorized access, disclosure, or use. An employer needs to ensure that this information is only accessible to those authorized to access it. Processes should be in place to prevent data from being disclosed or stolen.
3. Train HR staff on compliance risks
New legislation and regulations are constantly being introduced. HR staff should be provided with updated training and professional development around data privacy, employment law, and financial regulations on an ongoing basis. This will help to keep your organization compliant and informed.
In addition to internal processes, compliance training should also cover these components:
- Employment law basics to ensure that job advertisements do not discriminate against any protected characteristics and that hiring selection processes are fair and transparent.
- Financial regulations training to ensure that any financial incentives offered as part of the recruitment process comply with financial regulations.
- Industry and state-specific laws that workers must comply with.
4. Continuously monitor the hiring process
Compliance isn’t a one-time checklist, especially with the evolving threat of cyber-attacks. Organizations should be monitoring their hiring process on an ongoing basis to ensure compliance with policies and procedures.
There are several ways in which organizations can monitor the hiring process:
- Carry out regular audits of HR staff
- Conduct regular reviews of job advertisements
- Implement a system to track changes to applicant data
- Ensure that all staff involved in the hiring process are aware of their responsibilities regarding compliance
- Provide regular training to HR staff on compliance risks associated with applicant data
5. Take corrective action when necessary
Disciplinary measures can be an uncomfortable subject to address. However, it’s important to have a corrective action plan in place if an issue ever arises. If a team member were to breach a compliance policy, it may be a sign that more frequent training or review intervals need to be implemented.
A corrective action plan typically includes the following sections:
- Identify the problem. What should be fixed? Gather any data, reports, or related documents associated with the problem.
- Evaluate the extent of severity of the issue. Was it a one-time event that can be easily corrected? Does it point to a larger systematic or tool-related problem?
- Analyze the root cause. Why did this happen? Was it human error, a lapse in training, or an ineffective process?
- Develop an action plan. What is the proposed solution? Include a step-by-step plan that details each action item.
- Implementation of the plan. Each team member should know what the objectives of the corrective action plan are and who is responsible for each piece.
- Monitor and follow up on the results. Track the progress made and note any necessary adjustments. Create a report that shows how the problem was addressed and any areas of improvement.
A great hiring process is a staple for attracting qualified candidates. Along with crafting a smooth and positive interview experience from application to job acceptance, it’s important to keep compliance risks top of mind. You can avoid these pitfalls by keeping up-to-date on compliance laws and best practices, and continuously monitoring your hiring processes.