Employee background checks ensure quality, facilitate a safer and more secure environment, and reduce negligent hiring.

FREMONT, CA: The company’s workforce is its lifeblood. In order to reach business goals, organizations need qualified, trustworthy employees - but building such a team is not an easy task. In a recent survey, more than 56 percent of respondents lied on their resume, mostly about work experience, education, skills, and job duties. Small fabrications might not be a big deal in some industries, but they could be downright dangerous and irresponsible in others. 

A candidate's omissions can be just as damaging as stretching the truth. It is possible that someone with a recent history of violence will not be forthcoming about their past. It is possible for an incident in the workplace to put customers and other employees at risk, which could lead to negligent hiring lawsuits and permanent damage to the reputation of the company.

By running a background check, organizations can mitigate these risks and improve the quality of their hires, which includes the following:

The first step is to: Establish a policy for employment background checks

The Background check policy documents the details of the screening program, so it can be applied consistently throughout the organization. Three things should be included here:

What types of background checks will be conducted, and for whom: Background screening is a best practice across the entire organization, but employment screening packages should be tailored to each position. Credit checks may be appropriate for positions involving the management of money and driving record checks for positions involving the operation of motor vehicles.

How long will it take to conduct background checks: Deciding at what stage of the recruitment process employers will screen candidates and at what intervals they will screen current employees. Employers may conduct employment screenings at any time after obtaining the candidate's consent, but state and local laws may limit their ability to do so.

The impact of background check results on employment decisions: When making employment decisions, the background check policy should specify the types of information employers will consider. Among the best practices is the nature of the position sought, the essence of the crime, and the extent of time since the conviction


The second step is: Employment Background Checks & The Law.

Here are some potential violations to be aware of are as follows:

Forms of consent: It is the employer's responsibility to inform applicants in writing that a background check will be conducted before hiring them. As a stand-alone document, this disclosure needs to be clear and conspicuous.

The ban-the-box movement: In most states and municipalities, ban-the-box regulations require that a background check be delayed until after an interview or conditional offer is made. Checking applicable laws to see if ban-the-box laws affect the adverse action processes is necessary.

The third step is: What to look for when choosing a background check company.

Considering the following features are mandatory:

Workflows for integrating adverse actions: Providing pre-adverse and final adverse action notices with built-in, localized adverse action workflows is necessary.

What makes a good candidate experience: Checks can be started quickly and easily with mobile-friendly workflows and digital consent. Candidates can access their background check status and report from any device.