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.


The BLS Monthly Situation: What It Is and Why You Should Follow It

August 17th, 2010

Ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information coming at you each day?

With the barrage of data pouring in from newspapers, TV, the internet, social media, RSS feeds, e-mails, voicemails and good-old-fashioned face-to-face meetings, finding the critical information you need amidst all the “white noise” can be exhausting.

Take the BLS Monthly Employment Situation, for example.  It contains monthly employment estimates for over 1,000 industries from its Current Employment Statistics program.  However, the changes in these overall employment levels tend to be delayed in the monthly labor reports – making it a lagging indicator of economic trends.

Sound like a lot of white noise?

Not entirely.  Temporary help employment numbers, which are part of the monthly BLS report, are generally considered to be a coincident indicator for overall employment.  This means that changes in temporary help employment tend to forecast subsequent changes in overall employment and coincide with changes in economic activity.  Why?  Many companies use temporary staffing as a means to quickly adjust their operations to meet fluctuating demands for their products and services.

Here’s how to get current data for temporary help services in the BLS report:

  1. Go to the BLS Current Employment Statistics home page.
  2. Then select either the HTML or PDF version of the “Employment Situation Summary.”
  3. Data for temporary help services can be found in Table B-1 (page 30 of the report’s PDF version).

 Effectively manage the economy’s highs and lows with Priority Personnel.

Our staffing services for Central Texas employers can help you run lean – while providing on-demand access to the talent you need to meet surges in demand.

The Perfect Storm: Talent Gap Looms as Global Economy Improves

May 18th, 2010

According to a worldwide survey of senior managers, years of staff cutbacks have undermined trust in the workplace.

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s new report, titled “Companies at the Crossroads,” recommends that to restore that trust, companies must put their employees first  – or risk experiencing deep talent erosion and sustained underperformance as the global economy recovers.

Here are some key statistics from the December 2009 report:

  • 29% of business executives surveyed said employee engagement is low – and that they expect to lose key people as talent demand grows.
  • 41% of respondents cite a shortage of talent in their organization.
  • 44% of executives surveyed said they find it increasingly difficult to recruit talented employees.
  • 50% of respondents plan to ramp up recruitment in 2010, with only 18% freezing headcounts.

The survey found that while executives understand the need to focus on their talent, greater action is needed to develop sound talent management strategies for the future.  Low trust among mid-level employees, coupled with low graduate recruitment and an ongoing demand for senior executive talent, is creating a “perfect storm” for businesses:  the most talented employees may be headed out the door, with fresh talent not yet recruited.

Bottom line, these trends can have a serious impact on your business as the economy recovers.  Priority Personnel is prepared to help.  We proactively recruit to ensure you always have immediate access to the skilled, talented and reliable individuals you need – especially when that talent becomes hard to find.  Visit our website to find out what we can do for you.