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on October 07, 2022 Employment Background Screening Hiring and Recruiting

3 Steps to Compliant Employment Background Checks

Steps to Compliant Employment Background Checks

Screening new hires should be an efficient and compliant process for hiring managers. In order for that to be the case, however, some pre-work must be done. Partnering with the right background check company matters, as they'll offer guidance through each step. A documented background check policy is also essential for ensuring the process is consistent with each candidate. 

Here are three steps to compliant employment background checks.


Step One: Preparation

If the plan is to run employment background checks on job candidates and potentially on employees post-hire, the first step is to prepare accordingly. Consider the following questions and ensure they're answered in the background check policy and procedures.

  • Have you determined the screens that align with the job descriptions?
  • Will you be screening all candidates for every job?
  • Which jobs will require post-hire employment background checks?
  • Is there a decision matrix and individual assessment process for determining which criminal convictions disqualify a candidate as specified by the EEOC? 

EEOC Background Screening  Decision Matrix

Step Two: Consent

One of the main reasons employers are hit with FCRA class action lawsuits is due to problems during this step. Some employers simply fail to get consent and authorization to run a background check. Others are taken to court over extraneous information on the consent form or not making the form "clear and conspicuous" as specified by the FCRA. The consent form lets candidates and employees know that their background information will be reviewed and could possibly lead to adverse action. 

An online consent form is the easiest way to remain in compliance with federal regulations. It's important for all hiring managers to understand what's required for consent for candidates and those that are being screened post-hire. 

Step Three: Pre-Adverse and Adverse Action

Another very important step to federal compliance is following adverse action procedures when a criminal conviction or other red flags are found on a background check. Pre-adverse action informs the candidate or employee that something amiss was found during the screening process. They will then have the chance to review their information to determine if it is inaccurate, outdated, or false. If they're unable to prove anything differently, then the hiring manager can take adverse action and inform the employee of their right to do so. This process helps candidates and employees to ensure that they're being judged fairly and based on true information. 

Sample Background Check Policy Download the Template 

Background screening protects employers from negligent hiring to create a safer workplace for all. The FCRA and EEOC regulations protect those that are applying by ensuring an equitable hiring process. As part of a background check policy, this 3-step process ensures consistency and reduces the risk of non-compliance and litigation for employers. 

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Ryan Howard

President / Partner @VeriFirst

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