Top 5 Considerations for Employee Background Checks

Never judge a book by its cover.

This old saying reminds us while first impressions matter, they do not necessarily tell the entire story. Companies should apply this same philosophy while evaluating prospective employees. Just because someone looks like the perfect candidate on paper, hiring them without proper employee background checks may be the worst decision you make all year.

It is difficult to make the best decisions when you do not have all the facts. All it takes is one bad candidate to slip through the cracks to impact your company. For these reasons, if you value your company’s bottom line, culture, and reputation, then do your homework and find out the truth behind that killer resume.

Here are top 5 considerations that can be implemented prior to conducting employee background checks:

  1. Legal Advice: Working with an experienced and knowledgeable employee background check provider does not replace the need for sound legal advice. Make sure you work with legal resources that understand differences in Federal/State/County law so your employee background check processes, consent, disclosure statements, permissible purpose, 613 letters, etc., all contain the required (and correct) language.

  2. Policy Consistency: Policies for employee background checks must be consistent with each position. While employee background check policies can change for different roles/titles, each role-specific policy must be consistently applied to all candidates for that role.

  3. Compliance: The laws regulating employee background checks vary in many states and change frequently. While all states utilize the FCRA (Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act), many states, counties and cities make their laws more restrictive.

  4. One Size Does Not Fit All: Your employee background checks should be tailored to each job title. Employee background check suggestions are bare minimum requirements. As positions get more involved, consider adding elements that are more relevant to each role (employment and education verifications, MVR check, health care related Medicare checks, drug testing, etc.).

  5. PII Security and Protection: Most companies have strict security policies to safeguard personally identifiable information (PII) for both employees and customers. Your company's job candidates should have the same PII protections in place. Providers using outsourced offshore call centers and data centers should trigger flags. Research your providers and work with one that has appropriate PII security procedures in place, providers that do not sell your data and providers that have all your candidate PII secured in an ISO/IEC Certified Data Center.

Ok, we did the background check, now what? In short, it depends.

  • Did the employee background check find any adverse information? If the applicant cleared, welcome aboard! If there is something found that may adversely affect your decision in whole or in part on the report, procedures need to be followed. Your provider should have given you a copy of the "Notice to users of consumer reports: obligations of users under the FCRA" document, as well as sample pre-adverse action and adverse action letters. The applicant dispute procedure is listed in the FCRA under section 611 or [15 U.S.C. § 1681i]

  • Did the employee background check clear your applicant in the jurisdictions checked?

In 20+ years as a leading employee background check company, we at Accurate Information Systems have seen everything that can go right and wrong while screening candidates. We are happy to discuss your needs and to help you provide your company with the safest and most reliable way to onboard your best new hire.