4 Things To Keep In Mind For Pre-Employment Background Checks

If you’ve found this page, we have a pretty decent feeling you already know there are countless advantages that running comprehensive criminal background checks can offer your business or organization. Ensuring something you’ve given years, or even decades of blood, sweat and tears building is protected against a prospective employee that may not have your best interests at heart is one of, if not the most valuable safe guards you can in invest in.

But outside of carefully considering what questions to ask candidates, hiring managers should also be focusing on when to conduct an advanced background check, what type to run and what sorts of issues will eliminate a prospect from consideration. Today we’re touching on four things to remember when vetting possible employees – to ensure your business has the resources needed to cultivate a positive and successful environment.

Know your fair chance law

A noticeable trend in the last several years has been the fair chance (ban-the-box) movement. These polices require the removal of specific questions on an application that pertain to criminal history. These laws can exist on state, county or city levels and lay out when in the hiring process you can run a background check. It’s important to research the specific laws in your area to know if you’re required to follow the protocol.

Consistency

What type of issues and checks are you going to run on potential employees? Are you concerned about driving history? A credit check? Drug usage? Whatever red flags you identify, make sure you stay consistent throughout your entire roster of applicants. If you run a credit check on one applicant, you have to run the same check on all the other applicants, otherwise you risk being accused of discrimination.

Focus On Relevance

Be mindful not to simply turn away any and all applicants who may have a criminal history, or else you could be face a lawsuit for discrimination. Instead, focus on if an individual’s criminal conviction(s) relate directly to the person’s ability to perform the requisite duties of the job at hand. For example, a misdemeanor for trespassing shouldn’t impact an employee’s ability to perform customer service. On the other hand, if a check turns up a chronic history of violent offenses, they could post a legitimate risk to clients or coworkers.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the age of the offense. If an applicant has a conviction or arrest for a petty or non-violent offence that is fifteen or twenty years old, you can typically consider that information as out of date or irrelevant – just as long as the individual hasn’t been convicted of similar repeat issues since. Naturally, more recent issues should be given increased weight.

FCRA and EEOC Guidelines

Both the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lay out guidelines on how businesses and/or organizations can conduct background checks to make hiring decisions. Some of the information they provide is similar to what we’ve discussed in this post, but there are additional guidelines that every hiring manager should be familiar with.

Hiring the right employee(s) is one of the most integral parts of stocking your business with the requisite assets for success and Employment Screening Services has you covered. Whether it’s reasonable suspicion drug testing, an advanced background check or NYS licence verification in Buffalo NY, we’ve empowered companies all over the Buffalo-Niagara region to identify the type of employees that ultimately facilitate success.

Does Detail Count?  Instant Vs. Manual Background Checks

The level of detail on any specific criminal background check depends on the circumstance.  For example, do you need to commit resources to checking a potential employee’s driving record for a desk job?  Factors to consider are the field, industry and/or niche your company specializes in, the specific position and duties of job you’re screening for and what specific issues your organization considers important to know.  When requesting a background check, the results depend on the specific databases you want assessed, and those vary premised on if an instant or manual report is being used.  Today we’re differentiating between the two reports and what each one is able to yield.

Time Sensitive?  Instant Reports May Fit the Bill

Some types of information can be accessed immediately in the form of online databases.  While one might assume there is one, national database that documents every crime, that’s not the case.  Instead, a combination of databases can be used that have records reported by state and local municipality courts.  One example of this is the Interstate Identification Index System, from which records from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and State repositories can be shared for some purposes that include employee background checks and government licensing.  But it’s important to keep in mind that a significant amount of state records, whether it be from courts or specific law enforcement outlets either aren’t included or haven’t been adequately updated.  As such, a legitimate issue that runs concurrent with these types of reports is that some local courts aren’t always the best at timely updating national databases, resulting in incomplete reports, and the content of information available depends on an individual state.

Manual for Robust Screening

Manual, also known as repository reports are manually recovered by a court reporter.  The source is direct, from the state and/or federal databases and are updated to be current, making sure all information is available.  These reports are available at both the county and federal tiers, and it’s up to an employer to decide what issue(s) they feel are important to screen for.  As the name suggests, the manual report takes more effort and will typically cost a bit more than the instant version(s), but this type of advanced background check will further ensure nothing slips through the cracks, which is often integral to protecting a business or organization.

Whether you need a criminal background check, reasonable suspicion drug testing or want more information on the process, don’t hesitate to contact Employment Screening Services.  With an actual background in law enforcement, we pride ourselves on our ability to protect and serve all employers, to ensure they hire, and retain the most trustworthy candidates to help their business grow.