According to a survey from the Society of Human Resources as reported from Forbes, 69 percent of companies state that they conduct criminal background checks on all potential candidates. Only 14 percent of companies surveyed do not perform employment background checks at all. A thorough employment check helps to protect companies from liability in the case of issues stemming from individuals that were not properly vetted. There are some important considerations to keep in mind when running an employment check.
Review all of the information.
Look at a candidate’s education, criminal history, employment, driving records, social media when appropriate. Avoid becoming part of an Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) investigation for the exclusion of applicants with criminal records. Employers should note the type of charge and length of time that has lapsed since the charge took place.
Follow the law.
Applicants must sign a legal release form, be informed of their rights and receive a copy of the report and any associated communications.
Stay current on how the laws apply in an area.
Rules can change based on federal, state, local and employer-specific demands. An organization’s legal counsel can offer direction and create a consistent process.
Keep processes consistent.
Applicants for the same job title should have the exact same employment check and investigations run. Prevent any possible charges of discrimination.
Look for patterns of behavior. A one-off act of either positive or negative behavior is not indicative of a person’s character or their ability to perform a job. A pattern of actions are a better indicator of an individual’s decision-making process over time. Positives found on an employment check can also help employers choose between well-qualified candidates.
Be familiar with anti-discrimination and privacy laws.
The information that can be easily found on an Internet search may be illegal to use for vetting candidates. Under federal anti-discrimination laws, employment discrimination about an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin is prohibited. There are also many other state and local laws including marital status or health conditions that are often prohibited to use.
Review the sources that can be used for employment check as they apply within your organization and area. Stay consistent and objective when reviewing all of the pieces of data available.