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How Changes in the Labor Industry Are Shaking up Human Resources and Hiring

Varying trends in employment continue to evolve within the United States rapidly. Lower levels of unemployment, outsourcing of work to other countries, and steadily increasing social acceptability of marijuana use lead to background screening and drug tests making headlines! Today we’re going to discuss recent developments in the world of third-party testing that delineate these trends.

Lower Oversight in Outsourced Airline Repair

The percentage of airplane repairs happening in other countries for airlines based in the United States rose from about 7% to around 30%. This change avoids some of the stringent requirements that are demanded of US-based repair workers. John Samuelsen of the Transport Worker’s Union stated, “In South America or in China, the workers that they hire are not required to go through the same rigorous testing and certification. No criminal background checks, no random drug testing, no certification requirements that exist with the airline carriers in America.”

Workers in the United States undergo background checks and drug testing at a much higher rate than their peers overseas. This investment in the complete picture of one’s workers can be helpful long-term in maintaining airline quality as well as other sectors of the business world. Repair of planes, according to the article, has become increasingly reliant on overseas workers. These workers often seek assistance from US-based workers only when they have a question. Additionally, all  connections are made remotely without the ability to collaborate on a repair solution. Curbing this trend means addressing the source with:

  • The institution of more thorough certification
  • Legal, efficient background checking
  • Across the board drug testing.

Standardizing expectations globally to repair partners in other countries seems essential to prevent costly and dangerous slip-ups.

Tight Labor Markets Lead to Reduced Requirements

As the employment rate plummets, a survey found that 62% of companies are willing to take fewer years of experience than ideal, 50% of companies are willing to take slightly less than the education requirements they initially desired, and 52% are trying to speed up the hiring process. Interestingly, only a few companies were willing to compromise on drug tests and background checks: 21% were ready to stop drug testing candidates, and only 16% were willing to forego a background check.

With such a high employment rate, it only makes sense that employers have to fight to recruit the talent they need and retain long-term. Many companies have chosen to make choices like offering flexible work hours (an attractive perk to the evolving workforce) and other benefits to acquire and maintain strong talent. Others are taking note of transferable skill sets that may help someone succeed in their business but wouldn’t necessarily be seen as relevant experience.

Speed became a crucial pain point for employers: good candidates were accepting other jobs while still being interviewed or vetted by a particular company. Companies are responding by speeding up the review of applications and the decision making after an interview. Some are even considering removing background checks and drug tests altogether to get candidates hired faster. However, those who are choosing this are in the minority, primarily as background checks can be conducted simultaneously as final candidates are interviewed and vetted.

New Law in NYC Prohibits Marijuana Drug Tests

A major change is in the works as a New York City law changes drug tests in the city. Starting in May of 2020, companies will no longer be legally permitted to screen for marijuana use for employment drug tests. There are exceptions to the rule, such as:

  • Police officers
  • Construction workers
  • Commercial drivers
  • Workers caring for children or medical patients

In general, this rule will assist the approximately 3% of people who tested positive for marijuana in 2018 on employment drug tests. Drug tests will still be permitted for other prohibited substances. However, this is part of a trend toward reducing discrimination based on recreational marijuana use (even though the substance is still illegal in NYC).

New York City is known as a “worker-friendly” state and thus is a compelling experimental case for changes in screenings before work. It is a bit of a “mini-experiment” for other areas of the country who want to see what benefits emerge from different kinds of drug testing. Background checks have also been restricted in some ways in New York City, so this new legislation furthers the discussion and offers more insights into what people value in a drug screen or background check.

In these rapidly shifting times where technology, testing, and the workforce meet, staying current to changing laws is essential to the competitive nature of any company. As always, be sure to consult your legal counsel when integrating the modern workforce into your business with regards to the screening practices that apply in your state. Then, turn to CNet as your trusted source for the ethical, reliable, and legal screening of your potential employees!

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