Background screening job applicants is an integral part of the hiring process. By checking out a person’s criminal convictions, verifying their work history, and conducting drug testing, a company can gain a deeper understanding as to whether or not the person will fit well into the company culture.
However, the background screening process that was in place 3 years ago may not be the most effective one today. Here are some points to cover in reviewing your background screening process:
1. Take another look. Knowing the specific pieces of the applicant’s background you are currently screening is a great starting point. Make sure you know what information is being checked for each position.
2. Remember ‘the I’s’ have it. E-verify and I-9 processes need to keep up with regulations. A good many states have begun requiring companies to have these processes in place. Audits from ICE have also increased. It is more important than ever for companies to have a good, recorded trail for their E-verify and I-9’s.
3. Get the whole picture. Look at the criminal check policy, and make certain it is robust. At a minimum, check the person’s county of residence, work, and study. You may also want to add a national criminal database search, which can uncover crimes in places that were not originally targeted to search.
4. Review adverse action procedures. If a person is not hired in whole or part because of information found in a background check, you must send a pre-adverse action letter to the applicant, and after a reasonable amount of time, then send an adverse action letter. Be sure to follow this every single time.
5. Establish relevancy. 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 education. Review your screening process to ensure it is fair and relevant for each position.
6. Remember the information is only as good as the source. The background screening report is only as accurate and reliable as the Background Screening company that provides it. Ask your vendor if they are accredited by the NAPBS, and if they have licensed private investigators on staff. If the answer is ‘no’, you may want to look for a new provider.
These points are very important in maintaining an effective background screening policy. By reviewing them, you will be able to maximize the success of your hiring process and minimize the risk of non-compliance, or hiring someone who is unfit or unproductive for your workplace.
~~Susan McCullah is the Marketing Project Manager/ Background Screening Division for Data Facts, Inc, a 24 year old Memphis based company. Data Facts Inc -an NAPBS accredited company- is a leading provider of employment screening solutions. Check out our website for a complete explanation of our services.