|« Fitting Your Background Check to Your Hiring Strategy||The case of Amy Bishop »|
The popular KnowHR blog recently ran a post that generated lots of comment from HR types. The title was A Master’s Class in Hiring a Person With Credit Wrecked By Bad Health and Being Laid Off.
The blogger shared the story of a person who’d been out of work for some time because of medical problems. Because he was out of work and had medical bills, his credit suffered. The blogger asked how other HR people would handle the use of a credit report in hiring or not hiring the person.
The discussion devolved into a question of whether or not you should use a credit check if a position is not, as once commenter put it, “cash sensitive.” But this isn’t an either/or kind of question. The real question is: “How do you use a pre-employment credit check?”
A credit check gives you straight credit information, of course. But it also gives you some data on addresses and employment. You can check that data against resume or application entries.
No matter how you use it, a credit check should never make your hiring decision for you. Use it as a starting point for questions. Use it as one of several sources of information.
In the case of the person the blogger wrote about, the claim was that the sole cause of the poor credit was the combination of job loss/medical expenses. If that’s true, then the current credit situation might not be a barrier to hiring.
But you have to keep asking questions. It seemed like the job was a technical job, such as in an IT department. That probably wouldn’t be “cash sensitive.” But it might be “confidential or cash records sensitive.”
Note that I used the words “might” and “could” in the above paragraphs. That’s because each situation is different. Your pre-employment credit check and background check are tools you can use to generate questions that help you make the right decision in each, individual case.