Background screening: what is it?

The process of carefully vetting people for job possibilities via the use of third parties, often experienced background screening companies, is called a background screening. Public records, police enforcement, credit bureaus, and former employers are a few examples of such sources.

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What is the significance of pre-employment background checks?

Employers can only base their hiring decisions on the information provided by applicants in the absence of background checks. These particulars might not be correct or comprehensive. Background checks provide companies a more comprehensive image of an applicant, which might be useful for them in the following ways:

Employ the best candidates to increase output.

Stop incidents of theft and other illegal activity.

Steer clear of safety hazards and workplace harassment.

Maintain the company’s image and reputation.

What details may an employer obtain from a background check?

The following facts, with a few noteworthy outliers, might be discovered through a background check:

Work experience

History of education

criminal past

Credit histories

driving history

For any position, not all of this information could be appropriate or even required. For example, unless the person will be using a car as part of their employment, driving records are usually not asked. When a person’s credit report and criminal history can be examined is also governed by a number of federal and state laws.

How are background checks conducted?

If background checks are not performed properly, there may be compliance problems. Here’s how astute companies usually screen candidates before hiring them:

Put out a proposal.

It is typically advised against doing a background check prior to making an offer of conditional employment to a candidate.

Obtain approval

Employers are required by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state laws that are comparable to it to notify and seek consent from any individual who may be the subject of background checks by third parties, such as background screening companies.

Describe the screening procedure.

Employers are required to disclose to applicants and employees that they may utilize background check information in decision-making regarding employment. This notice must be sent in writing and in a format that stands alone. It can’t be included on a job application. A brief explanation of the background report’s nature is one example of a tiny supplement that can be included, but only provided it doesn’t confuse or take away from the notice itself.

Adhere to screening guidelines regularly.

Checking the history of some individuals but not others might be regarded as discriminatory and unlawful. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stipulates that judgments on hiring should be based on work requirements and business need, among other things. It also offers guidelines on taking into account a candidate’s criminal background.

Seek legal advice if taking negative action is necessary.

When taking adverse action against an individual (such as refusing to hire them) based on the findings of a background check, employers are required under the FCRA to adhere to specific procedures. It is advisable for employers to get legal advice before to taking any further action.

Features to consider while selecting a background check provider

Credible outside vendors with expertise in background checks can help companies cut costs and save time while decreasing the possibility of mistakes. When assessing possible partners, companies typically consider:

assistance in adhering to federal, state, and municipal regulations, such as the EEOC and FCRA

Integrations with leading recruitment management and applicant tracking systems

stringent policies for data security and privacy

modifications that support businesses in adhering to certain sector regulations or internal recruiting practices

All-inclusive cost with no additional charges

Frequently asked inquiries concerning background checks

What raises a background check red flag?

Companies make the decisions on whether or not to hire applicants based on their own rules. A background check may reveal common causes for concern, such as drug test results, traffic infractions, bad credit scores, inconsistent work history, and criminal convictions. Any decisions about hiring made in response to these worries must be job-related and grounded in business need. When utilizing criminal history information to make employment choices, employers should refer to EEOC advice to make sure they are not unfairly excluding persons who are protected from discrimination.

To what extent do background screenings date back?

Pre-employment examinations typically span seven years, however they may go beyond that. Extended lookback periods may be allowed by certain states for specific records.

What is the duration of a background check?

A standard background check might take anywhere from two days to a week or more to complete. This schedule may be extended by backlogs in courts and agencies, holidays, and information requests from outside the United States.

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