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Recruitment basics: Can you turn down Sharon for the job because of her poor credit history?

by , 16 October 2014
You're in the middle of a recruitment process.

You've conducted the first and second round of interviews and one of the applicants, Sharon, made quite an impression. She's confident and fits most of the set job requirements for the financial manager position.

Since you're seriously considering her for the position, you conduct a background check on her and one of the areas you focus on is her credit history.

Much to your disappointment, the information you get from the credit bureau shows that Sharon has a poor credit history. Now you're wondering if it's legal to turn her down for this?

Read on to find out the answer so you can avoid unfairly discriminating against Sharon.

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Recruitment basics: Whether or not to turn down Sharon because of her poor credit history depends on the nature of work she'll be doing

A poor credit history often means a high risk of fraud.
Sharon may be under financial strain so there's potential she'll steal to supplement her income.
This means, it would be fair to turn Sharon down. You definitely don't want to employ a financial manager who can't manage money.
That said, when it comes to applicants with a poor credit history, you need to be cautious of rejecting them because of their credit history. If the job doesn't require the applicant to work with cash or finances, you can decide whether you're comfortable employing them.
If, for example, you were looking for someone who doesn't have to handle money and Sharon was the right fit, you could employ her regardless of her poor credit history.
Overall, you must consider the nature of the job if you want to decide whether or not to employ someone with a poor credit history. If you don't take this into account, you may face unfair discrimination claims. Remember, fairness is key when it comes to labour matters.
PS: If you want to hire the best candidate every time, check out Recruitment: The Complete Guide.

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