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7 Easy Steps to Conducting Background Checks on New Hires

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Dec 16, 2016

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Some organizations don't do background checks is because of concerns with time and cost. Conducting background checks on new hires shouldn't be something that stalls the hiring process. The ultimate goal with screening is to offer peace of mind for human resources professionals as well as hiring the right person for the right job.

The background check process should be easy and efficient in order to be worth it to a hiring manager. Here are 7 easy steps to conducting background checks.

Research & Partner with Background Check Company

In order to ensure a good price for background screening and a reputable report, research of high quality background screening companies is necessary. A simple internet search may not be compliant and could return false positives on your job candidate. Partnering with a trustworthy company will prevent many headaches later. Professional background screening companies will be able to:

  • Show their affiliation with the National Association of Professional Background Screeners
  • Verify that they are compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
  • Offer full-service background checks including verification of the data compiled

Cost of a Background Check:  How Much Should You Pay?

Conduct Checks Prior to Hiring... and Maybe After

In order to avoid potential discrimination charges, the best time for screening job applicants is after a job has been offered. Conducting background checks prior to hiring an employee may also mitigate the risk of negligent hiring claims, when activity on the job harms another employee or customer. Businesses may also consider conducting background checks after the applicants become employees. For instance, if an employee is being considered for a promotion with higher security clearance or if management is suspecting illegal behavior, a post-hire background check is a good idea.

Ask for Consent

Always, always, always ask for consent and authorization to a background check. Failure to get consent for a background check and/or not using the proper forms are top reasons for organizations to be taken to court over background screening. The FCRA regulates that the consent form should be clearly marked and obvious to the applicant. Some screening companies offer online applicant consent forms for faster turnaround as well.

Align Screens with the Position Being Filled

Another way to reduce turnaround time and cost is to choose background checks based on the positions being filled. A cashier at a drug store may not need a driving record background check but a bus driver would. Creating a process or document to choose screens based on jobs is one way to simplify the background check process. For more information, download our free ebook and sample templates on job-related background screening

Online Application

The key to hiring applicant quickly is accurate information. With paper forms and data entry, there are two many chances for human error to stall the hiring process. Also, with an online portal, the procedures for hiring are more streamlined. The documents are also stored so that any potential for non-compliance is lessened. 

Follow Adverse Action Procedures

Part of staying within the compliance of FCRA is to correctly follow adverse action procedures if the background check reveals questionable results. An employer cannot simply disregard a candidate if the background screening information looks suspect. Adverse action procedures dictate that the applicant will be notified of the background check information and allowed time to dispute or correct it. 

Document the Process

One of the best ways to maintain a consistent hiring and screening process is to document it. If the process has been documented and well-proven, the hiring process is efficient and less likely to cause any compliance issues with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Hiring procedures are subject to change, of course, with new regulations at the local, state or federal level. Having a map of what works, what screens are required and compliance procedures will help make the background screening process easier on human resources professionals. 

Topics: Employment Background Screening, Hiring and Recruiting