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Employment Background Screening

Jobless Rate Among African-Americans Alarmingly High, Experts Say

At a time when many Americans are experiencing the worst employment rates in history, one group is suffering more than any other; African-Americans. In a story featured on CNNMoney this week, the experts at the National Urban League reported that the rate of unemployment was twice that of white Americans.
 
A Duluth, Georgia woman that was featured in the story described her situation as “…a vicious cycle.” Her last position as a bereavement counselor and chaplain at a local hospice center fell through shortly after she returned from maternity leave. She has now been unemployed for about 18 months. Though she has applied for positions at many places, she has not been able to get past the resume submission stage of the process.  At this point, she is hoping to get to the employment background screening phase which would hopefully lead to solid employment.
 
Employment screening is the phase that occurs just before a candidate is formally offered the job. Many employers still skip this crucial step, but risk severe consequences in doing so. Risks include negligent hiring lawsuits, inadvertently employing a criminal, or causing their clients or employees harm by unknowingly hiring a dangerous individual. Always make employment screening a regular part of your company’s hiring policies.
 
Further statistics shared in the CNN story show clearly that there is a racial divide in other areas such as median income, education levels, and home ownership. President Obama has thankfully taken measures to help bridge the gap between racial groups in America. The experts commented in a recent report by the National Urban League that more needs to be done to improve the situation. In their opinion, more focus needs to be made on training for minorities, better tax incentives for African-American business owners, and further extensions of unemployment benefits for people in this group.
 
Further aggravating the situation, says Andrew Grant-Thomas of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, is the fact that the unemployment disparity is actually worse than is being reported. He says, “The disparities are definitely huge and that number understates the size of the disparity. You want to take that number and double it."
 
One African-American small business owner in Atlanta has done her part to help the jobless in her community. Her café is equipped with WiFi and she has started a “job club” for the local unemployed. She hopes that her café will be a place where people can come together, of any ethnicity, and network for jobs, get hand-on training, and learn how to dress for an interview and format a resume. "We're all struggling, whether you're white, black or green," says the café owner. "You've just got to hold on."
 
If your company is struggling right now due to the recession, be sure to use this time to prepare for when hiring resumes. One critical step in preparing for “fatter” times is to research employment background screening companies in anticipation for screening candidates prior to employment. By making these improvements now, you’ll save yourself the cost of high turnover or repeatedly needing to fire employees due to hiring the wrong people.

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