Top 5 Background Screening Mistakes
It’s so important to CYA…cover your assets when owning and operating a business. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of background screenings! However, the devil is in the details when it comes to navigating through the various background screening options, laws, rules and regulations, which can leave you vulnerable to making some pretty major blunders. That’s where we come in, though! We’ve been in the biz for a while now, so we’re going to fill you in on some of the top background screening mistakes now!
1: Not having a background screening policy
One of the most common background screening mistakes made by businesses occurs when there isn’t a standard policy and procedure in place that applies to all potential employers, sub-contractors and freelancers and all positions. Implementing a standard background screening policy across the board enables you to CYA and ensures that every candidate is treated equally. So, save yourself the headache of hiring someone with a questionable background or from being on the receiving end of a discrimination law suit!
2: Not having a clear understanding of employment laws
We know that wading through the many employment laws can be both confusing and overwhelming. We also know how incredibly important it is to get a firm handle on the state and federal laws that apply to background screening process, anyway. Violating the laws set in place can have some pretty severe consequences, so you’ll definitely want to CYA (yes, again!) by double, triple and even quadruple checking every rule and regulation that applies to your business’ screening processes and policies.
So, sit down with your business team and draft a policy that is in full compliance with the many state and federal employment laws. You can also opt to have a third party to conduct the background screenings for you. We’d suggest that you contact Health Street for these services, but we may be a little on the biased side!
3: Not receiving a candidate’s consent before conducting a background screening
This is a big one, guys and gals! Always and we really do mean always obtain proper disclosure and consent from every single candidate before you pull the trigger on a detailed background check. Dot all of the i’s and cross all of the t’s, here. Be very explicit when outlining the type of screenings that you intend to conduct, how you intend to use the results and what impact the results may have on their eligibility for the position being applied for.
Following the proper protocol here is necessary as it will save you from violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), from paying out a boatload in restitution and from negatively affecting your business. So, draft a consent form that covers all the bases and get that thing signed!
4: Relying solely on databases such as the National Criminal Index
Criminal databases are notoriously incomplete and contain vast amounts of inaccuracies. If you are going to run a background check, my number one piece of advice is to get a Court Record Package.
Beyond actual crimes, there are other things about a candidate’s background you are going to want to verify. Job-seekers are often eager to make themselves seem more educated, knowledgeable and experienced than they really are. The inclination to embellish when seeking a new job can be hard to resist and can make it difficult for potential employers to weed through the information provided in an attempt to hire the right person for the job. Here are a few background screening options that you shouldn’t overlook:
5: Neglecting to conduct a drug test
Most businesses don’t think of a drug test as a form of background screening, but it is! Knowing if a potential employee is a drug user is pretty important given the impact substance abuse can have on their job performance and can be a real liability for your company. So, spare yourself from finding out this information a day late and a dollar short by implementing a pre-employment drug test policy today!