With today’s difficulty finding job candidates, 39% of hiring decision-makers polled by Express Employment Professionals reported they hired someone they otherwise would not have in order to fill an open role.

Express’ survey found that 63% of hiring decision-makers said they overlooked soft or hard skills when hiring a worker; 45% overlooked an applicant’s ability to pass a background check or drug screen.

“Businesses are willing and have been overlooking traditional hiring requirements,” said Nancy Reed, an Express franchise owner in Texas. “They are having to make critical hiring decisions due to the lack of available workers and growing demands.”

Stacey Snodgrass, an Express franchise owner in Washington state, said one of the more controversial traditional hiring requirements modified or eliminated to fill positions has been drug testing.

“Some companies dropped this pre-employment requirement during Covid to onboard people faster, and while a few have changed the process to drug test now, you will still have to complete one when hired, as required by law,” Snodgrass said. “We have not seen this requirement dropped for any positions that are safety-sensitive.”

Eliminating barriers to employment is pivotal to pulling workers off the sidelines, according to Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller.

“However, careful considerations for the safety and health of colleagues must be taken into account when waiving employment requirements,” Stoller said. “With the right investments in training and education, companies can create their qualified workers ready to mentor the next generation.”

Looking ahead, 66% of hiring decision-makers believe the tight labor market will end before 2023.

The survey was conducted among 1,009 US hiring decision-makers between Nov. 10 and Dec. 2, 2021.

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