2012 brought several changes to the background screening arena. The EEOC guidance on the use of criminal records, along with several states banning the box and restricting credit checks are a few of the most notable developments.
Changing industry trends as well as access to additional informational resources are valid reasons for a company to review their employment screening policies. Look at these 5 key points to make certain your company’s policies are current and relevant.
1: The current policy. A great starting point is being aware of the specifics that are in place NOW. Make sure you know what searches are being conducted for each position, and how far back the check covers.
2: Be aware of your state’s laws. Several states have implemented legislation on certain types of employment screening tools. Make certain you are in compliance with the laws of your state.
3: Decide relevant criteria. Evaluate each position and decide which screening tools are important for that particular job. Some positions will not require a credit check, for example. It may be imperative in other positions to verify employment, or to conduct a motor vehicle search. Review your screening process to make certain it is fair and relevant for each position.
4: Review any gaps and make additions. Ask yourself what information would help hire the best employee? You may want to add a social media screen, assessment testing, automated E-Verify, or beef up your criminal checks (check more counties, add a national database search, etc).
5: Take a close look at your adverse action procedure. When deciding not to hire a person based in whole or part on information obtained from their background screen, make certain you are sending a pre-adverse action letter, followed by an adverse action letter. Do this every time. These simple actions will maintain your compliance and can protect you from litigation down the road.
An up to date employment screening policy allows you to reduce the risk of making a bad hire. Start the year off with a thorough examination of your processes and procedures, and add and tweak as necessary to ensure there are relevant screening perimeters in place.
~~Susan McCullah is the Product Development Director for Data Facts, Inc, a 23 year old Memphis based company. Data Facts Inc -an NAPBS accredited company- is a leading provider of pre-employment screening solutions. Check our our website for a complete explanation of our services.