PRE/POST EMPLOYMENT VERIFICATION
The Importance and Value of Pre-Employment Background Checks
Small-business owners might wonder if including a pre-employment background check during the hiring process is worth the additional time and expense. But when seriously considering a candidate for an open position, it can be very important to consider conducting a background check. It can offer employers the valuable benefits of:
- Hiring well-qualified candidates
- Reduced employee turnover and the related expenses
- Limiting exposure to claims of negligent hiring
When is the right time to conduct a background check? In general, the process should take place after initial applicant screening procedures are complete and an employer has made a conditional job offer. Once the process is underway, employers should not permit the new employee to begin working until the background check is complete.
Hiring the Best
Simply having a pre-employment screening program in place could discourage applicants with a troubled history from applying for an open position. Since the Society for Human Resources Management estimates that as much as half of all resumes and applications contain false or misleading background information, the background check can help verify candidate’s’ qualifications before interviewing has even begun.
A background check can help ensure that only qualified individuals are considered for the job. Eliminating unqualified candidates can also mean less likelihood of having to terminate an individual later on and incurring the additional expense of starting the recruitment process all over again.
Types of Background Checks
There are a variety of background checks that employers can utilize to obtain candidate information, including motor vehicle reports, national criminal search, national sex offender search, and the terrorist watch list, to name a few. Employers can make use of consumer reporting agencies to obtain background information on job candidates. Employers who utilize Consumer Reporting Agencies must comply with the applicable guidelines in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and applicable state laws, including but not limited to the following:
- Once a candidate completes the application process with the employer and is given a conditional job offer, verbally stating pending background and or drug testing, the candidate should then receive a form disclosure, a release form giving permission for the company to perform a background check on them, and Summary Of Your Rights explaining his or her rights under the FCRA (Fair Credit Report Act) and Remedies of ID Theft. The background screening process may not begin without the proper forms being given to the applicant and signed.
- Notify applicant of negative report findings before taking action. If the report includes information that may cause the employer to disqualify the applicant, the applicant must receive a Pre-Adverse Action Letter, a copy of the consumer report, and a copy of his rights before any negative action is taken.
- Make a hiring decision. If the applicant fails to respond or can’t provide information explaining the negative findings, the employer can proceed with the decision not to hire. But before taking this action, it’s best to seek legal counsel to protect against any exposure to litigation or violations of state or federal law.
- Notifying the applicant with a Pre-Adverse letter, followed by copies of the background report and copies of The Summaries of Consumer Rights pages. The applicant does have the right to dispute any findings they deem incorrect with the background screening agency. They should be given, in writing, the company who did the report name, address phone, and email to make direct contact. The company will then perform their due diligence by re-verifying all information in question and return those results to the applicant in an appropriate time manner.
- Dispose of findings and records. In compliance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act, the employer is required to properly dispose of the background report information and records to guard against unauthorized access to or use of the information.
Employers should be aware that credit checks and criminal history inquiries may be restricted and/or mandated by federal guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as well as applicable state laws. The best practice is to consult with an attorney who is familiar with those requirements.
Protect Against Negligent Hiring Litigation
A potential benefit of a consistent pre-employment, post-offer background check policy may also include helping your business avoid claims of negligent hiring. By conducting background checks following a conditional offer of employment and prior to the applicant starting work, businesses may be able to reduce their exposure to claims of negligent hiring and the associated litigation costs.
Third Vision Background Searches is your one stop shop for background searches, verifications and checks. Let us protect you against the risk of making the wrong hiring decision.