Running a professional
employment screening background check
is a mystery for most small and
start-up businesses. It's critical that any company starting a new background
check program understand the kind of management policy they need to establish
You want to make sure that your background check is done in compliance with the
employment laws so that the potential employee and your company are protected
from lawsuits including negligent hiring lawsuits. Your role as the employer
when it comes is going to be different for every company and by the extent you
want your pre-employment screening program to go into for your particular job
Some positions require a deeper background check than others, such as hiring
someone as a financial manager versus a receptionist. Some companies will
outsource their background checks and most will include criminal and credit
history, reference and professional checks and drug testing.
Regardless of whether you outsource your background checks or not, you are still
liable for your company policy on how the background check process is conducted.
You need to make sure that the policy is compliant with all state, federal, and
local employment laws. You need to make sure that you do everything right in
order to avoid a negligent hiring lawsuit or other legal proceeding in the case
a potential employee is bypassed for the job.
At a minimum, your company policy for an employment screening background check
should include but not be limited to the following items:
-A section that explains how to understand and manage all of the federal and
state compliance issues that are related to background checks which include fair
credit reporting issues, discrimination issues, privacy issues and more.
-The name of the employment
screening background check
vendor your company is going to use and an 'end
user' agreement between your company and the background check vendor.
-A list of jobs in your organization that require a background check and what
type of check each one needs.
-Documentation stating why a particular job would need a criminal or credit
history investigation and policies on when written job descriptions need to be
reviewed and updated.
-A statement of when checks are required – such as before being hired or
periodically – depending on each job position and whether or not current
employees who did not have a pre-employment background check needs one.
-An outline of the standards for which checks will be evaluated and how the
information and what type of the information will be disclosed.
-A copy of the most current employment application that states that checks will
be administered and the consequences of lying on the application, including
termination of employment. Copies of all other pre-employment paperwork should
be included and they should carry the same clause about lying and background
-FCRA compliant authorization and disclosure forms, document destruction
policies, and 'adverse action' letters.
-Training material for recruiters and HR staff that shows them how the policy is
to be used
Make sure your prospective screener have thorough knowledge and an understanding
of current HR Management systems as well as corporate Due Diligence programs or
Factual Employment Screening programs that train people to find fraudulent
applications and false identities. Can your vendor help keep you from unwanted
litigation? Unless you or someone in your company is an expert in employment
law, you are putting your company at significant risk.
Keep in mind that if you are just using any of the multitudes of online
databases, it's less likely you are protected. Not only do these online service
providers increase your risk of exposure, they may even add to it. Let's take a
small but important example. Let's say you are currently using an employment
screener who does not require you to provide a signed release for each
applicant. That sounds relatively harmless, doesn't it?
But the truth is these companies have had you waive liability to them when you
signed up for an account so they could avoid the time and effort it takes
involved in this critical step. In the case of an audit, your company is
responsible for producing a signed application and therefore liable if you don't
have one on file, something they fail to mention. A good
employment screening background
provider gives signatures for these audits and you'll never even have
to know when they occur. A good company to provide your employment screening
background check takes all the worry out of hiring, lowers your turnover rate,
and keeps you out of court so you can stay in business!
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