Pre Employment Background Check
An employment background check is no longer an option prior to hiring new employees. Screening potential employees has become a necessity to avoid lawsuits and costly hiring mistakes.
Background checking is the most popular method of pre-employment screening. Over 96% of HR professionals report that their companies do background checks of new hires, up from 66% in 1996 according to The Society for Human Resource Management Workplace Violence Survey. This is very inexpensive insurance for your company and needs to be part of your hiring process.
Why Worry About Checking Out Candidates
You and your company can be held liable for the actions of a new employee especially if you did not perform a background check. View this process as doing your due diligence. There are any number of potential legal problems that can impact your business when it comes to hiring new employees. Investigating the background of a potential hire can help minimize the legal risks associated with hiring.
But there is another reason to checkout candidates.
The more information you have, the better hiring decisions you make. In addition to reading resumes, phone screens and interviews, the investigation you perform before you hire adds more data to your final hiring decision.
What Information To Pursue
The data you can gather varies for specific positions. Here is a list of the possible data areas you might explore during an employment background check:
- Credit Records
- Academic Records
- Social Security Number Driving Record
- Criminal Records Worker’s Comp Records
These are just a few of the areas you might explore based on the nature of your job.
The laws vary from state to state and country to country regarding what information you can pursue. Privacy laws are not consistent between jurisdictions. And, exactly what information can be used in a pre-employment screen varies as well.
In the United States there are two major laws covering the screens. First, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) covers all consumer reports including credit reports. The Americans with Disabilities Act covers the use of disability and other medical data in the hiring process. Both laws are cumbersome and complicated.
The one given before you embark on a screening program is to check with qualified legal counsel. You should get guidance before implementing your program.
Outsourcing Your Pre-Employment Screening
The second piece of advice is to use a professional third party expert to complete your checks. You can employ the services of a background checking company. Hiring an outsider can help in finding accurate, complete information on job candidates. Your outsourcing partner should be able to steer you through the legal requirements as well as federal and State regulations of background screening.
Another added bonus is under FCRA, your small business can have limited legal immunity by using a third-party background pre-employment screening company. There are many service that specialize in getting the data you need. The price for the service has come down dramatically in the last few years. The turnaround time has shrunken to the point where you shouldn’t experience delays in your hiring process.
Pre-employment background checks need to be part of your hiring process.