Here’s news from our hometown region. The City of Philadelphia announced this week that Mayor Michael Nutter has signed an Executive Order amending the city’s Fair Criminal Screening Standards Ordinance, also known as Ban the Box. Read story at ERE.net. The Executive Order means that private employers, with at least one employee, cannot ask job applicants about criminal background and arrests during the application and job interview process.

SkillSurvey CEO Ray Bixler posted recently to ERE.net about the for need hiring organizations to take a broader and more thoughtful view of job candidates in a column titled Let’s Uncheck All the Boxes. “‘The Box’ is an incredibly blunt and oversimplified tool for assessing the quality of a job candidate or the likelihood that they’ll be able to succeed and deliver results in a given position,” says Bixler. “What it lacks is any form of nuance or context, any indication of which hard or soft skills the candidate might possess, how they operate under pressure, or whether they demonstrate strategic thinking and dedication.”

A better way is to use screening methods, especially reference checking, to gain a real picture of a candidate’s ability to perform based on past performance. Says Bixler, “Countless SkillSurvey customers from major retailers to large hospitals have made hires who were not initially at the top of their lists based on resumes alone — all because of smart input from the hiring process and surprising “intel” from job references.”

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