Background Check Program Overview

March 27, 2018

The hiring of new employees can be sort of like walking a tightrope. It is important to find the right candidate with the qualifications and integrity to do the job, but in today’s hiring climate it’s impossible to accept applicants at face value. To be effective in hiring practices involves delving into the background of applicants to get a better idea of their abilities and employment performance. However, this should be measured with respect for the privacy of each individual candidate as well as staying compliant with relevant laws. The purpose of the background check is to help evaluate aptitude and skills and needs to be carried out with this the primary goal. In addition, affirming “the truth” about an applicant’s background is important when making any hiring decision.

Verify Employment Qualifications

Any employer can be overwhelmed with the number of resumes received for an open position. There could be several applicants with outstanding qualifications to do a job. It can be difficult to determine one that sticks out. At the most basic level, the background check is to determine if information provided by an applicant is true and accurate. It also helps paint a picture about the applicant beyond what is on paper or discovered in a short interview. Previous employers give an idea of what kind of work habits an applicant has. References can also provide much needed information on personal characteristics.

Protecting the Organization

The background check can be considered as a preemptive measure to ensure the integrity of the organization and the safety of employees. Individuals may not be appropriate for certain positions due to some aspect of their history. Someone with a criminal background may not be appropriate for a security officer position. If someone has had issues with substance abuse, they may not be able to work in a hospital with accessibility to drugs and medication. Certain kinds of information can only be found with a background check. There is no guarantee that all information will be uncovered by utilizing a background check process, but simply having a consistent background screening program in place, will help to elevate liability for your organization.

Legal Issues with Background Checks

One of the most important aspects of the background check is that information is gathered for job related purposes. Some activities of a background check may not be necessary. It is easy for an organization to go overkill in a background check to error on the side of caution. Before a background check is initiated, evaluate what the purpose is for it. Certain information (such as medical and credit history) require written consent from the applicant.

Background checks may be somewhat different for applicants and should be planned on a case by case basis, however they must be consistent for all candidates. If an applicant feels they were discriminated against for not being selected for a job, they can file a lawsuit against the hiring authority. If subject to review, any background investigation needs to reflect being strictly part of the hiring process based on ability and not personal confidential information.

The background investigation can be an essential part of the hiring process. It is a tool that helps identify qualifications of applicants. The hiring authority needs to take care in collecting information to get what they require without violating the privacy of applicants. The background screening firm used should be following the rules and regulations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act to insure the rights of the applicant and the protections of the employer.

To discuss quality background screening services, consult with the experts at B&B Reporting today!

The information provided in this article is for general informational and educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate legal professionals or licensed attorneys.