Saturday, August 4, 2012

Background Check Breakdown Part 3: You Have Your Background Check Report, Now What?

#BackgroundCheck Tips



The final installment in my series on Background Checks discusses the compliance issues surrounding how you can safely use the results in Your Hiring Process.....





Part 3: "Tips to Help You Safely and Effectively Use the Background Check Report in Your Hiring Process"


You have determined what you need in a Background Check, decided what Background Check company you want to use, and you have the Background Check report in front of you – Now what do you do?


EEOC guidelines and mandates from the Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) do dictate how you can use the information supplied in a background check report. Under CRA regulations, a Background Check cannot legally even report cases that were dismissed, where the defendant was found not guilty, or arrest records. If your Background Check record does include any of this information, you would be wise to not consider it in your employment decision.


Okay, so the Background Check report on your applicant is compliant and only contains allowable information. What is your next step?


Follow these Steps if Your Applicant has a Criminal Record  "Tweet This"!


If you find that your applicant has a criminal record, You need to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How recent was/were the conviction(s)? A conviction record that occurred many years ago (with a clean record since) should not be considered an indication of current conduct or recurring behavior. Most Background Check companies use a time frame of 5 – 10 years as a range of reference.  
  2. How is this record relevant to your open position? In order to be compliant with EEOC guidelines, it is necessary to determine what type of criminal history would keep an applicant from performing their job duties in a manner that is safe and would not cause damage to your business. For example, past convictions for embezzlement or fraud would be of great concern when hiring a bookkeeper or accountant.  


What do you do if you have determined the Background Check report does contain information that will keep you from considering the applicant for hire or promotion?

  1. Notify the applicant, in writing, of your determination and provide them a copy of the Background Check Report.
  2. Give the applicant the opportunity to correct the information in the Background Check Report or for them to offer information to mitigate the report’s findings.
  3. Determine whether any additional information you receive from the applicant will reverse your initial decision to exclude the applicant from hire or promotion.
  4. Notify the applicant of your final determination.


It is most important to document this entire process! You need to keep detailed notes as to what decisions you made concerning the hiring or promotion of the applicant and when you made them. Good records will help protect your company in the event of litigation.


You will find more information on safe hiring in "Tips to Help Your Business Fly Under the EEOC Radar".



In conclusion, the use of Background Checks in the hiring process is invaluable. In its most basic terms, it will provide you with the tools to weed out the “bad hires” while keeping the good ones. Good Luck!


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