It is important to set your company up for success when making hiring additions to your team. When seeking a technical and cultural fit, it is also important to choose candidates with a clean record. Conducting background checks on candidates can limit unethical practice from entering your company. It is becoming common for companies to decide to add a background check to the hiring process and elect that an offer is contingent on a successful background check and/or drug screen.
If your company decides to implement background checks, it is essential to conduct the background check in a fair, thorough manner, which will not delay the process. Remember, it is necessary that candidates know they will be having a background check conducted, especially if they will need to provide any personal information, like a social security number, for the background check. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) states that a background check can’t be completed without the candidate’s permission.
If there is something that would appear during the search, give the candidate the opportunity on the employment application to alert you ahead of time. This can eliminate discovering information during a background check which catches your team off-guard and makes you second-guess hiring decisions. When considering an applicant, don’t dwell on a minor or antiquated incident. If the candidate is willing to discuss the incident and can demonstrate improvement or change, they still could bring great expertise to your company.
Consistency is also essential during these checks. Do not limit background checks for a specific individual, as this can be seen as special treatment or favoritism. The application for any two candidates, especially for the same position, should be identical. In the case when a certain role requires a more in-depth search, like driving records for transportation-focused roles, it is fine for the application to differ, but all individuals for the same role should have the same process. Keeping applications consistent will protect your company against any discrimination charges.
When conducting background checks and drug screens on candidates, open communication is also incredibly helpful. If the background check or drug screen produce a concerning result, engage in a conversation with the applicant to clear up misconceptions and to ensure that the background check did not return any errors. A mark on a candidate’s record should not necessarily mean the candidate would not be considered. A candidate with no convictions AND a marked background check may have a misprint due to a similar name to an individual with a record or an instance of identity theft. For candidates that are eliminated as a result of their background check, a reason for elimination from the candidacy process is mandated by FCRA. The mandate states that if a background check leads to a no hire decision that the employer must give in writing reasoning for why the decision was made. In the case there are any discrepancies, the candidate will be grateful for the opportunity to fix any misprints, possibly saving them from continued identity theft.
A background check can be a hefty understanding. Many companies find it beneficial to outsource the background check process to a professional, third party. These third party organizations have the tools and expertise to conduct a thorough, fair check. These agencies will keep the background check efficient and limit your knowledge to what you need to know, eliminating unnecessary, classified information from reaching your desk. There is no need to search for more than necessary information to make the hiring decision.
The background check is an incredibly important step in the hiring process. It will keep your company safe from extending important, classified information to individuals you would otherwise prefer not to share with. Fair, even checks will provide your company the choice to know whom you are inviting into your ranks.
About the Author:
TopLine Strategies delivers the complete integration and development of sales, marketing and customer service technologies that enable corporate clientele to improve revenue streams and strengthen customer interactions. Our project management and consulting is designed to achieve timely delivery, 100 percent user adoption of the technologies we implement and deliver measurable returns on investments for our clients.