In the big, broad world of information, health information ranks high as some of the most intensely private.
Yet knowing some information about candidates can be important, especially during the hiring process. It’s important to determine if a medical condition could inhibit completion of day-to-day duties. At the same time, it’s critical not to disqualify an otherwise outstanding candidate when reasonable accommodations can be made.
So, what are the best ways for companies talk to candidates about medical conditions without crossing any legal lines?
Here are a few elements to remember.
Timing is everything. Generally speaking, before there’s a job offer on the table, you legally can’t ask a candidate (or their former employer) any probing questions about their health. But according to the experts, there are a few exceptions. They say these types of questions should only happen after the candidate pool has been whittled down to a list of favorites.
Aim for the exceptions. What’s OK to ask? Among the approved questions: asking if candidates need support to participate in the recruiting process or accommodations for the specific functions of the job. It’s important to keep these questions focused, stick to these exceptions, and skip any other health-related questions in pre-employment screening, even if it’s supplied voluntarily.
Get creative. Once you’ve offered them a job, these restrictions change. But it’s still important not to discriminate. If you discover health conditions in a routine health assessment, remind yourself why this candidate stood out and look for creative ways to accommodate their needs while still getting the job done each day.
Pre-employment screening comes with plenty of stipulations. But at ClearStar, our goal isn’t just to rubber stamp your company’s screening needs. We feel strongly that the process should also include sharing information on all the latest trends and laws impacting our industry.
Want to know more about how we can help? Contact us today.