Recommended Reading List – HR and Hiring Tips of the Week

The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

When you hear the media and experts talk about outsourcing, layoffs by big business and more lost jobs is likely the first thing to pop into your head.  But one of the biggest reasons we have slow job growth is likely the outsourcing by small business owners and entrepreneurs. Instead of hiring full-time permanent workers for service and support roles, small business is often hiring virtual assistants. But the despite the allure of a smaller payroll, especially pay as you workers, pitfalls exist. This is an excellent article about the pros and cons of hiring a virtual assistant.


Two articles hit my inbox this week that should send shivers up and down the spines of HR professionals, management, and business owners. 

Credit Background Checks and High School Diploma Requirement May Violate ADA and EEOC

The first one pertains to a letter recently posted on the EEOC website that the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) may invalidate using high school diplomas as a minimum job requirement. The EEOC states, “Under the ADA, a qualification standard, test, or other selection criterion, such as a high school diploma requirement, that screens out an individual or a class of individuals on the basis of a disability must be job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity. A qualification standard is job related and consistent with business necessity if it accurately measures the ability to perform the job’s essential functions (i.e. its fundamental duties).”

The second article has a similar theme.  Not only is the EEOC involved but Congress too, who recently held a hearing about the growing employment practices of conducting credit background checks and requiring that all candidates must be currently employed. Are these practices legal?  At the federal level, the answer is unclear.  But the mere fact that these employee screening practices are being questioned means employers need to be certain that the tools they use to screen candidates accurately assess job related functions and at the same time don’t discriminate against minorities. 


Ira S Wolfe