This is a guest blog post from GoodHire, the experts in employment screening.
For many HR professionals, employment screening policy best practices aren’t top of mind. However, getting background screening policies right is crucial.
Background checks help companies hire the right person for the job and protect employees, customers, and reputation. Yet employment-screening policies must be implemented fairly, with consideration for all applicable laws. This holds true throughout inquiries of criminal records, driving records, drug screening, credit checks, education and employment verification, and many others.
Many companies lack proper employment screening policies, which is why we integrate with GoodHire to provide an easy way to perform high quality, FCRA-compliant background checks to support great hiring.
If you’re implementing or updating an employment-screening policy in your company, keep these best practices in mind:
When you create a background check policy, make sure to apply it across the entire company – that means you’ll include executive management, too. Executives do sometimes falsify career details. If that comes to light, the revelations can damage and embarrass their employers.
But making sure that you’re hiring people who have the necessary qualifications goes beyond avoiding potential embarrassment. In fact, it helps to preserve company morale. That’s because managing poorly performing employees requires a lot of time. In one study supervisors reported that they spend 17% of their time managing poorly performing employees. And 95% of employers in the same study reported that bad hiring decisions affect team morale.
Although you should apply the background check policy across the company, you can – can (and should) develop role-specific provisions. For example, many companies run an employment credit report, a criminal records check, and an education for employees who will handle money. However, an employment credit check may not be necessary for employees who have access to money or finances.
Most negligence lawsuits stem from inconsistency in applying HR policies. An inconsistent approach to applying your background check policy you could invite discrimination charges.
To ensure consistency, set clear guidelines for the type of screenings (criminal records, motor vehicle, credit, education, etc.) your company will conduct for different employee roles. Within each role, make sure to apply the guidelines all candidates. Two candidates applying for the same position should undergo the same background checks. Screening all potential candidates according to your established policy within each level can help ensure you’re treating all candidates fairly and applying policies consistently.
Complying with federal, state, and local laws is one of the most critical aspects to consider when developing your background screening policy. All background checks conducted, whether for new employees or existing ones, must follow federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guidelines. These guidelines require employers get candidates’ consent before running background checks. Under the law, employers also must follow a specific set of steps if a background check returns information that will affect the hiring decision.
GoodHire’s compliance team reviews its processes to make sure they comply with the FCRA and provides with information and resources to help employers and hiring managers understand the regulations that apply in their states.
Are your background-screening policies company-wide, consistent, and compliant? If they are, give yourself a pat on the back. If you’re not sure, consult with legal counsel and review some of the advice here.
GoodHire is the background screening company for people who care about people. More than 30,000 employers rely on our skilled compliance experts, helpful US-based customer service reps, and customizable technology to build teams based on trust, safety, and fairness. Job candidates who experience our revolutionary True Me platform feel empowered, rather than judged, by a background check process that lets them add relevant personal stories. GoodHire is owned and operated by Silicon Valley-based Inflection, a leader in trust and safety solutions.