Background Check: What Is It?

A background screening is the procedure used to thoroughly vetting people for career prospects using third parties (often professional background screening providers). Public records, law enforcement, credit bureaus, and prior employers are just a few possible sources. Background checks on potential workers and volunteers ought to play a significant role in your company’s operations. Background checks can lower the chance of engaging in violent, abusive, or theft-related crimes. They can also help your business determine whether a candidate is the proper fit for the position by verifying the information on a candidate’s resume or job application.

Why Are Background Checks Conducted Before Hiring Important?

Without background checks, businesses have only the information supplied by the applicant to form the foundation of their employment decision. Such information might not be correct or comprehensive. Background checks give hiring managers a fuller picture of a candidate, which may assist them:

  • Employ the best candidates to increase production.
  • Eliminate theft and other criminal activity.
  • Avoid safety hazards and workplace harassment
  • maintain the reputation and image of the company.

What Details Can Background Checks Offer The Employer?

With a few notable exclusions, a background investigation may disclose the following information:

  • Employment background
  • Knowledge of history
  • A criminal record
  • Credit histories
  • Driving history

Not every role may require or even be able to use all of this information. For instance, unless the person will be operating a vehicle as part of their job, driving records are normally not asked. Additionally, there are a number of federal and state laws that specify when a person’s credit history and criminal record may be viewed.

How Is a Background Check Conducted?

If not done properly, background checks can put compliance at danger. If not done properly, background checks can put compliance at danger. As an example of how savvy employers generally screen potential new hires:

  • Make a proposal

It’s often recommended to hold off on conducting a background check until after an applicant has been given a conditional job offer.

  • Obtain agreement

Employers are required by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and related state legislation to notify and acquire consent from any individual whose history is being checked by a third party, such as a professional background screening provider, in writing.

  • Selection procedure

Employers are required to warn applicants and employees that they may use background check data to make employment-related decisions. This notice must be given in writing and must be presented separately. It cannot be a requirement for employment. Minor further material, such as a succinct explanation of the background report’s content, may be given, but only if doing so doesn’t confuse or distract from the notice’s main points.

  • Screening consistently

Background checks performed on some groups of persons but not others may be regarded as discriminatory and unlawful. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) offers guidelines on how to take a person’s criminal background into account when making employment decisions, among other things by stating that such judgments must be job-related and compatible with business necessity.

How to Choose a Background Provider  

Reputable third parties with expertise in background screening services can assist organizations in reducing the risk of error and saving time and money. Employers frequently consider these factors while assessing potential partners:

  • Assistance with compliance with local, state, and federal regulations, including FCRA and EEOC rules
  • Top applicant tracking and recruitment management system integrations
  • Strict security and privacy rules for data
  • Customizations that assist businesses in adhering to particular industry standards or hiring guidelines
  • Explicit pricing that is all-inclusive
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