You read a resume you like, invite the person over to hold an interview, and extend a job offer to them. That should be all there is to it, right?
What you don’t know about a new hire can hurt your company and maybe even you personally. Hiring someone without a background check is poor practice because you can’t entirely rely on your intuition or their honesty.
So, when they assure you of their qualifications and good intentions, don’t take their word for it. It’s a risk you can’t afford to take.
What You Need to Know
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Running background checks on potential staff and volunteers should be a crucial component of your business processes because they can reduce the likelihood of theft, abuse, and violence. A background screening can verify data on a job application or resume and help your business determine if the person is right for the job.
You are Legally Obligated to Protect
Companies are legally obligated to protect their clients, employees, and business from any foreseeable criminal act perpetrated by a staff member or volunteer. If you don’t fulfill this obligation, you might face charges of negligent hiring.
If a new employee commits a crime on your premises and the company didn’t do a background check prior to hiring, the company is liable for its actions.
Your rights to explore someone’s background aren’t unlimited – this is probably the most important thing to know before you start a background check. You need to know what you’re allowed to do and what not. If you don’t carry out the check according to the relevant laws, you could also face legal charges.
Hiring the Right Screening Provider is Critical
Few companies do their own screening if any. The best approach is to hire a third party that’s compliant and familiar with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This law gives the job candidate and the employer a fair method to process background check reports. As long as you have a clear business interest, such as promoting, hiring, reassigning, or dismissing an employee, you’re free to use any information obtained from the check under the FCRA.
The job applicant has certain rights under this law. They must be provided with a summary of these rights before the check commences.
If you decide not to promote or hire someone based on background check findings, you are obligated to provide them with a copy of these findings. You or the screening provider must also inform the person of their rights to challenge the background check report.
Due Diligence is Mandatory
Every hiring organization must carry out due diligence on every new employee regardless of the organization’s size. You should also screen volunteers if you have a charity organization. They will have contact with the most vulnerable groups, like disabled people, the elderly, or children.
What to Remember When Setting up a Program
Keep the following in mind when setting up and enforcing a background check policy:
- Follow all FCRA guidelines
- Create job-specific searches
- Eliminate subjective opinions to ensure consistency when reviewing results
- Use a combination of screening products
- Establish criteria to evaluate information
The First Line of Defense
Background checks are, simply put, your first line of defense. At their most basic, they involve criminal record screening, employment verification, and an identity check. You can also perform additional checks, such as the person’s driving record, credit history, professional licenses, drug testing, etc.
Remember, you aren’t obligated to hire one of the people who applied for your job. Focus on finding the right applicant and leave everything else to your third-party service.
What to Look for in a Background Check Provider
As demand for background checks increased, more and more background check services appeared. It’s now difficult to tell the quality ones from the scammers. Don’t fall for the “background check in seconds” marketing trick. These checks are incomplete and can leave out crucial information. They’re not worth the money you’ll save.
Usually, they send old information purchased from data brokers. There is no guarantee the data is accurate or current.
When in doubt, choose an organization that has been certified by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).