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What Hiring Managers Need to Know About Background Checks

You can’t be too careful these days when it comes to hiring new employees. If you don’t already have a good pre-employment background screening process in place, you’re putting your company, other employees, and your customers at risk.

As a hiring manager, you’re always busy. When you don’t have an HR department, you might feel that a more robust screening process is yet another task on your full plate.

It could also feel like a restrictive way to go about your hiring process. However, when you apply a successful screening process, you empower yourself with smart hiring.

Here’s your hiring manager’s guide for performing a background check for employment.

Be Consistent

If you check something for one applicant, you must check it for all applicants applying for that position.

To avoid legal problems and accusations of discrimination, set up a company guideline for all applicants to go through the same background check for employment.

When you run every applicant through the same list of drug screening, references, and criminal history, you evaluate every applicant with the same set of criteria. There’s no cause for the appearance of discrimination when everyone follows the same path through your hiring process.

Make sure you’ve documented what is acceptable for considering a new hire. No matter what your pre-screening reports tell you, follow your company’s documented policies on what’s acceptable versus what’s not acceptable within a potential employee’s background.

Get Permission

Before you run credit checks or criminal history, get permission from the applicant. Performing any screenings is against the law without permission.

Inform the applicant about each part of the screening process. Ensure proper disclosure and authorization is obtained and all Federal, State and local laws are followed. CNet can help provide guidance with this process.

If an applicant denies permission, you aren’t obligated to proceed with the process. You don’t have to consider them for the job.

Be Thorough

What should a hiring manager include in the screening process? When it comes to the basics for most new-hire background checks, be sure you include:

  • Address History—Some screenings depend on address information to correctly identify the applicant. Hiring managers need to avoid running any checks on the wrong person. Delivering a report based on the wrong person can lead to legal issues. Confirm current and past addresses history to help identify your applicant.
  • Social Security—This verifies the social security number is a valid number. A social security trace can identify the use of multiple SSNs or aliases, as well as criminal records associated with the provided SSN.
  • Criminal History—Depending on your company policy, minor violations of the law might not be an issue. However, all serious crimes should be taken seriously and evaluated to protect your business, your employees, and your customers. You can’t deny an applicant for every crime, and you must evaluate if it’s job-related and the length of time since the offense.
  • Sex Offender Registry—Checking the sex offender registry is a good idea for any new hire. When working with children, this is a critical screening for all applicants.

Depending on your company and the position, you might choose additional screening records. Driving history, certifications, or licensing records could be applicable to fill your open position.

Talk it Over

If a background check turns up something that causes concern, talk it over with the applicant.

To comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA), a hiring manager must be clear with an applicant if something in a background check (in whole or part) means the applicant doesn’t get the job or promotion.

Depending on the issue, give the applicant an opportunity to explain. A clear background check doesn’t promise a perfect employee. Likewise, a blemish on a background check doesn’t guarantee an applicant is “bad” or not worthy of the job.

Ultimately, your company’s criteria for screening applicants is your guide to hiring or not hiring an applicant after the background check. Make sure your policy is flexible enough to allow for situational discretion and good judgment when it comes to qualified applicants.

Get Help

If any of this sounds overwhelming, we understand! A hiring manager’s task of selecting the perfect new employee for a position in your company is no easy task.

It’s a challenge to screen, report, and select the right candidate to join your company. Choosing the wrong candidate can be expensive. Violating laws or privacy can result in lawsuits for your company.

Working with a professional employee background screening service can reduce your workload and the stress of the hiring process. When you find the best screening partner for your company, they handle all of your background screening and reporting. They know the laws and help you navigate the process.  They can be your consultant on legal compliance issues and reporting, but you should be aware they cannot give legal advice.

Let CNet Technologies help you find the right screening partner for your needs. Get our FREE Definitive Guide to Selecting the Best Pre-Employment Screening Service.

Download Guide

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