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Workplace Decisions and Background Checks


by SIOP Administrative Office

Two New White Papers Published in SHRM-SIOP Collaborative Series

Two new white papers geared toward HR professionals are now available on the SIOP website. The papers, part of an effort by SIOP and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), can be found here.

Evidence-Based Strategies to Improve Workplace Decisions: Small Steps, Big Effects: Although the need for effective decision-making is ubiquitous in the workplace, in practice the failure rate of important workplace decisions is surprisingly high. This white paper discusses evidence-based strategies that can be used to improve the quality of workplace decisions in today’s data-rich but time-poor environment. We emphasize strategies that are applicable across a wide variety of workplace decisions and that are relatively simple to execute (in some cases, requiring just a few minutes). We also respond to potential objections to the use of structured decision strategies. We end with a pre-decision checklist for important decisions.

Conducting Background Checks for Employee Selection: Background investigations are used by 86% of organizations in the U.S. to determine if applicants have previously engaged in behaviors that suggest they might engage in future counterproductive behaviors on the job or be a threat to the safety of others. A background investigation might consider some or all of the following: reference checks, credit history, criminal record, driving record, work history, military service, education and personal references. This paper will discuss legal considerations in using two of the most controversial components of the background check: criminal history and credit history.

This white paper is part of an initiative titled “The Science of HR,” created under a collaborative partnership between SIOP and SHRM to develop resources for HR practitioners that will further the use and understanding of evidence-based HR practices. These resources, available to both SIOP and SHRM members, are specifically intended to infuse the science of I-O psychology and other HR disciplines into management practices for daily use in the workplace.

The SHRM-SIOP Science of HR series provides practitioner-oriented reviews of evidence-based HR practices. These papers, written by leading researchers and practitioners in the field of I-O psychology and HR, make the science of evidence-based HR practices accessible to SIOP and SHRM members.

SIOP is continuously working to develop materials about topics that will be published and distributed by SHRM to its membership. For a full list of collaborative articles, visit the SHRM-SIOP page here.

For more information regarding the SHRM-SIOP Science of HR Series, please contact David Dubin (David@psycharts.com).