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March 15, 2022

Priceless Background Screening Advice...Straight from the Experts

diversity equity inclusion-1HR professionals are responsible for many vital components affecting their organization’s health. One of the most impactful ones is background screening. The process is heavily regulated (especially in certain industries), making staying in compliance challenging. There are also rules from the FCRA that must be followed to protect consumers’ rights and privacy while still making sure you thoroughly screen your applicants.

These reasons are why it’s smart to trust the experts when you’re crafting and revising your policy.

We’ve compiled some background screening advice straight from the most notable industry experts. Check out what they have to say.

Bill Current, Founder of the Current Consulting Group and Author of “Why Drug Testing: Updated and Expanded for 2020”

Measuring the ROI of drug testing.

“Drug using employees cost employers an average of $8817 per year from turnover, loss of productivity, accidents, and medical costs. These costs can be reduced or almost eliminated with a thoughtful and consistently implemented pre-employment drug screening process.”

Bianca Lager, President of Social Intelligence

Many workplace issues now start with social media posts.

“The type of information people share on social media can be impactful on the workforce. One of the main trends is screening for hate speech. This is because it can lead to toxic workplace behaviors and potential external issues. By formalizing your social media screening and monitoring policy, you maximize the chance of finding what you need without invading applicants’ or employees’ privacy.”

John Hawkins, Senior National Account Executive for Data Facts

It’s important to run a Federal Criminal Records Search if you want to find all felony convictions.

“Employers must make sure they’re checking Federal District Courts in addition to County Courts for felony records. These courts are not always checked because most felonies are logged in the county system. However, due to an increase of cybercrimes that fall into the “across state lines” category, there’s an increase in crimes being processed in Federal District Courts. Employers who are only pulling a County Criminal Records Search will miss these federal felony records.”

Johnna Leeds, Senior VP of Compliance for Data Facts

Employers are required to protect consumer data.

“Employers have legal requirements regarding the protection of consumer data. Per the FCRA, there are three current requirements. The first is limiting the dissemination of consumer information to only those with a legitimate need as authorized by the consumer. The second is retaining consumer data in a confidential manner. The third is destroying data in a secure manner. Employers must render information inaccessible, unreadable, and/or unrecoverable. FTC Rules permit the following methods: 1) burning, pulverizing, or shredding, 2) destroy or erase electronic files and/or 3) after conducting due diligence, hire a document destruction company.”

Sammie Dabbs, Senior VP of Sales at Hound Labs

Your company’s cannabis testing is still essential, even with widespread legalization.

"Even in the current climate, there are many scenarios for breath testing for recent cannabis use. Reasonable suspicion and post-accident are two types of “after-the-fact” testing. As cannabis use continues to increase with legalization, employers are looking to mitigate risk. They must deter employees from coming to work having recently used cannabis. They can do this by implementing pre-access testing or random testing using a cannabis breath test. By testing for recent cannabis use, employers can avoid unnecessary adverse actions and lost productivity.”

Jared Alexander, Background Screening Thought Leader for Data Facts

Not every hire is the same. Not every background vendor is the same. Don’t get stuck thinking you have the best of both.

“A background screening policy must address different positions need to be screened in different ways. What some employers fail to realize is that their vendors differ, too. Screen and verify what your background vendor provides you. After all, your background checks are only as thorough, accurate, and compliant as your vendor’s processes and quality control standards. Make sure your vendor is highly skilled and prioritizes returning accurate results.”

W Barry Nixon, COO for

“Fight the urge to cut corners on thorough screening practices in your attempts to hire fast.”

“With the tight job market and scarcity of candidates, employers are razor focused on hiring people quickly. However, it is critical that employers keep in mind that quickly hiring the wrong person will cause them pain, agony, and real cost down the road. It is important for employers to remember that. long after the hire date is forgotten, the sting of a bad hire will linger.”

Julie Henderson, Chief Revenue Officer for Data Facts

In this hiring market, the candidate experience may determine if your hiring process works or fails.

“Unwieldy or non-existent mobile processes will frustrate and turn off your potential great hires, which can damage your company’s growth. With the increase in work-from-home positions, applicants are accustomed to performing almost everything from their mobile devices. Basically, companies must “go where the people are” to maintain a highly-functioning hiring channel. Find a background screening partner that provides ways to connect with applicants through mobile technology. App-based and text-based processes help make the candidate comfortable and confident from the beginning. Users can access the information when and where they want from the device they like to use.”

Kris Gault, National Director of Partnerships for Embark Safety

It’s time to automate your driver monitoring process.

We schedule our cars for routine maintenance to prevent breakdowns and buckle our seatbelts to prevent injury in case of a crash, yet we don’t employ the same insurance measures at our companies. Commercial auto insurance has generated underwriting losses for a decade, putting massive pressure on employers to know who is driving on their behalf—including executives driving personal vehicles for work.

Prevent being seen as negligent, by eliminating the weakness of not knowing when your employee has a negative mark on their driving record. Proactive companies can implement a driver monitoring system to reduce accidents, protect their brand image, track expired licenses, know when a driver has a DUI, prevent work disruption, and prevent litigation. Technology has made “you should have known that your driver had an invalid license” a thing of the past.

Stewart Gott-National Account Manager for Data Facts

Understand what you are, and are not, getting with criminal search databases.

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking criminal databases talk to each other and one check can cover everything. Background check databases are very segmented, and all crimes are NOT held in a single location. You need to order multiple criminal records searches (county, state, federal, and database searches) to thoroughly check into someone’s past.”


Following these important pieces of advice from the industry experts will help you build an effective, compliant background screening policy. You’ll protect your workplace, your brand’s reputation, and decrease your chances of dealing with litigation and turnover.

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