Priority Personnel Blog

Credit Checks for Texas Candidates and Employees – Legislation Update

October 18th, 2011

Are you familiar with House Bill 449?

House Bill 449, if passed in it’s current form, would prohibit agencies in any branch of Texas state government from considering an individual’s credit information or credit score in deciding whether to hire the individual.  Certain notable exceptions include:

  • a position that involves access to or the direct handling of money or negotiable instruments;
  • a position as a peace officer, reserve law enforcement officer, public security officer, or county jailer;
  • a position as a corrections officer; or,
  • a position that involves investigating possible violations of law or state agency rule.

The National Conference of State Legislature’s (NCSL) website indicates that changes in credit screening legislation are occurring from coast to coast.  Seven states now limit employers’ use of credit information in employment: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon and Washington.

Is our state next?

As an employer in Central Texas, you still have the right to check a job candidate’s credit.  The current form of HB449 only applies to state agencies.  Still, it raises the question of whether or not credit screening is smart business practice.  Before screening any applicant’s or employee’s credit, you should consider:

  • how relevant the information you’re collecting is to the available position;
  • the cost involved versus the benefit to be gained;
  • whether or not your internal staff is trained in how to interpret the complex information contained in today’s credit reports;
  • whether or not there may be potential adverse effects to checking an applicant’s credit.

While the use of credit checks has grown over the past several years (with some 60 percent of U.S. employers using credit reports for some or all of their background checks), this practice is now becoming illegal for many employers.  In the future, it will be interesting to see if and how this ban will help people with financial problems find employment.

What is your take on the new credit screening laws?  Will it affect the way you screen and hire candidates?  We at Priority Personnel would like to know.  Please leave your comments below.


Strategic Staffing Success: A Case Study

November 30th, 2010

Planned staffing and an on-site coordinator help San Marcos, TX manufacturer reduce costs while effectively managing their busiest season

The Problem:
For years, Bluescope Buildings North America, a manufacturer of pre-engineered metal buildings, struggled to manage the fluctuating demands of a cyclical business.  In the past, the San Marcos company had dealt with their seasonal upswing the way many other manufacturers do – by scrambling to hire workers when business surged, and then either finding enough work to keep those individuals busy once the rush ended, or laying them off and paying unemployment.

Faced with yet another busy season, Plant Manager Joel Williams turned to Priority Personnel, their preferred staffing service, for help.

The Solution:
Dan Roy, President and CEO of Priority Personnel, worked directly with Joel and his HR department to develop a cost-effective way to staff Bluescope’s peak production periods with qualified workers, without incurring the costs (e.g. recruiting, unemployment, workers’ compensation, taxes) of their current hire-then-fire cycle.  After examining the detailed records of Bluescope’s ordering history with Priority Personnel, it became clear that a planned staffing option would best suit their workforce needs.

Implementing a planned staffing solution included the following steps:

  • Bluescope and Priority set new wage levels to attract the best temporary industrial talent for their needs.
  • Together, they then identified the types of positions, required skills and number of workers needed to manage Bluescope’s busy season.
  • Priority Personnel began aggressively recruiting, screening and testing candidates to develop a talent pool for Bluescope that was available to work at a moment’s notice.
  • Next, Bluescope reduced its core workforce to a level needed to adequately staff the low end of their business cycle. 
  • Priority Personnel then implemented a just-in-time staffing system, rapidly delivering talented temporary workers to handle Bluescope’s upsurges in production.  At one point during their busy season, 1/3 of Bluescope’s workforce was supplied by Priority Personnel!
  • To facilitate their large temporary workforce, Priority Personnel provided an on-site coordinator who worked at BlueScope during their busy season.  This individual assigned temporary workers, conducted safety orientations and handled daily temporary employee issues as they arose.

The Results:
Planned staffing now complements this manufacturer’s core workforce to effectively manage the seasonal changes in their production levels.  As a result of this proactive workforce management solution, Bluescope enjoys the following benefits:

  • Ability to quickly ramp-up staff to manage peak production periods, without the additional expense and administrative burden of hiring and then laying-off permanent staff.
  • Cost-effective management of variable labor costs.  When the demand is not there, neither is the labor cost.
  • Reduced personnel expenses.  By using temporary labor, Bluescope pays only for productive hours worked – and avoids paying benefits, payroll taxes, workers’ compensation, unemployment, etc.
  • Simplified staffing.  An on-site representative manages the day-to-day administration of a large temporary workforce.
  • More time for HR.  Because Priority Personnel handles recruiting, screening, testing and background checks for their temporary workers, Bluscope’s HR staff is free to focus on other important priorities.
  • High quality workers.  Priority Personnel anticipates Bluescope’s staffing needs.  Proactive recruiting has yielded higher quality workers, some of whom have been offered direct positions with Bluescope.
  • Minimal discipline, safety and attendance problems.  Contrary to what the Plant Manager expected, Priority Personnel’s temporary workforce has been as hardworking, safe and reliable as Bluescope’s direct employees.

“Using Priority Personal to staff our facility during our peak periods of business has allowed us to reduce our variable cost for labor.  The strategic plan to engage a higher quality temporary employee with the skill sets needed to meet our business demands paid great dividends for us this past year.  Priority’s ability to provide 1/3 of my total workforce with good, trained professional individuals was outstanding.”
Joel A. Williams
Plant Manager
Bluescope Buildings North America

Priority Personnel – Your Organization’s Key to Strategic Staffing Success

As a leading San Marcos staffing firm, Priority Personnel can do much more than provide great workers for your short-term needs.  Our staffing professionals can help you critically examine your workforce needs, and develop a staffing strategy that makes your organization more successful.  Call us today to schedule a free workforce consultation.