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How To Establish A Pre-Employment Screening Background Check Program

Almost all companies of any size now realize it is in their best interest to conduct pre-employment screening background checks on prospective employees. For the cost of a printer ink cartridge or a couple of hours salary, a quality employment background check can go a long way in avoiding the cost of a bad hiring decision. The following issues should be considered when setting up a pre-employment screening process for your business.1.

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Establish a written background check screening policy.

To protect your company against claims of discrimination, all applicants for the same job should be screened exactly the same. It is not advisable to let hiring managers pick and choose whom and how thoroughly an applicant should be screened.

1. Protect your business
You are responsible for knowing and following the laws that govern the hiring process. A number of government agencies have established regulations that protect applicants from incorrect or dated information being reported in an employment background check. The FCRA, the ADA, the FTC, and the CFPB as well as some states, counties, and cities all have had their say in developing and enforcing these laws. For a publication that is helpful in understanding and complying with these laws, the government has produced: Background Checks: What Employers Need To Know.

2. Have a designated hiring manager
It would be impossible for a variety of people to keep up with all of the employment screening laws. This is best left to a single person that is well organized and has the authority to see to it that all required steps are taken and documented.

3. Limit Access
The employment process produces information that is personal and sensitive. Take steps to ensure that the ordering of and access to this information is secure and limited to a “Need to Know Basis.” Be sure that this information is not shared with other employees or managers.

4. Disclosure
It must be disclosed to an applicant that a background check will be conducted.

5. Release
Every background check has to be preceded by a disclosure from you and an authorization release from the applicant to run a background check. This release must be on an entirely separate form and can not be a part of any other form or application.

6. Adverse Action
If you do not hire a candidate because of something you find on their background check, you must send the applicant a “preliminary notice of adverse action” and a copy of the background check report containing the negative information. You must allow them to dispute or counter the results and offer an explanation. After you  re-evaluate their information if you still decide not to hire them you must send them a “Notice of Adverse Action.”

7. Ban the Box.
If you are located in the more than 100 cities, states, or counties that have enacted “Ban the box legislation, you are subject to these laws and must move any questions concerning arrests or criminal record convictions to later in the employment process.

8. Review your employment forms
Have your employment forms reviewed to make sure all of your employment application and release authorization forms are in compliance.

9. Decide What Employment Screening Services You Need
A very good FCRA compliant criminal record background check can be obtained for $35 to $45. It would be the primary building block of any pre-employment screening program. Driving records can be obtained instantly and are a must not only for drivers but also give a good indication of other aspects of an applicant’s background and behavior. Drug screening is also an essential element of most employment background check programs. A 10-panel drug screen with an MRO (medical review officer) is money well spent.

10. Professional Background Screening
A professional employment screening background check company will be glad to provide guidance in establishing this process.

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