Adjudication: You be the Judge

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Hiring a qualified, honest candidate is a goal of every company. But what if one of your short-listed applicants tells you she does not have a clean record?

Let's look at the facts… Certain regulations stipulate disqualification if the applicant is an ex-offender/criminal — meaning they may be restricted from employment in industries such as childcare, education, security, nursing and home healthcare — places where "vulnerable" populations are involved.

Organizations that do not have "vulnerable" populations do have the ability to develop and adhere to their own guidelines in regards to hiring applicants with a colorful past — with a caveat. As long as your guidelines are consistent with those set forth by the U.S Department of Labor and applicable state laws, your business has the right to set policies in regards to hiring (or not hiring) those applicants who have a record.

The definition of adjudication…

In order to ensure that all candidates are measured equally in accordance with company guidelines, many organizations turn to a process called "adjudication." Adjudication is the process of comparing the employment screening results of an individual to the standards that a company has established to determine if the applicant's background meets company standards. Seen another way, adjudication offers a means to provide a benchmark by which objective judgment can be made with regard to background check results.

Adjudication guidelines can be as simple or as detailed as the company requires (or as mandated by regulatory guidelines, for example in the healthcare industry).

The adjudication process is not limited to traffic violations or criminal records, it can also include auditing results and evaluating discrepancies from education and employment verification. Below are some examples of additional criteria used:

  • Applicant listed area of study, place of study and dates of study did not match
  • Applicant listed data exceeded 90 day discrepancy tolerance for start and end dates of employment history

If the applicant's adjudication results do not meet your criteria, then your organization is notified and can then determine if adverse action is required.

The benefits…
Adjudication adds consistency to the background screening process and can increase efficiency across your organization, removing the guesswork and subjective individual "judgment calls" from your company's hiring guidelines.

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