Complete the Proper Background Check to the Job – Screening Potential Employees

by Joe Killinger
CEO, theRRD.com

You as an employer have an obligation under EEOC guidelines to ensure the type of background check you use matches the risk and responsibilities of the position and that the factors used to judge the results of a background check take into account the likelihood that what information that is found will impact the applicant’s performance on the job. Be sure to establish a clear link between the items you’re screening for in the background check and the job duties. Understand what you “need to know” and what could potentially violate an individual’s privacy rights or cause unfair discrimination.

There is no standard background check package because different industries, and even different companies within the same industry, will have different criteria regarding what constitutes an eligible candidate. Your company should have packages set up based on business necessity, packages that should be different for different types of jobs. Any executive position should be subject to more stringent testing than a basic minimum-wage employee. The depth of your screening should reflect the risks arising from criminal misconduct in each specific position. When creating the packages, remember that if screening guidelines are too lenient you may hire criminals and welcoming unnecessary risks to your business, but if screenings are too stringent you may miss opportunities to hire well-qualified applicants who pose no threat – and you may even run afoul of the EEOC.

When you are performing background checks on potential job candidates, a good rule to follow is to only perform checks that are relevant to the job. Unless it is in your company’s HR policy, avoiding superfluous checks will not only save the company money but it will save the HR process time and energy as well. This will also leave a positive impression on the candidate. Intensive screening for jobs that do not have high salaries or levels of responsibility will often feel intrusive. This kind of irrelevant screening may also alienate possible candidates from the position.

Drug Screening:

Around 60% of companies conduct pre-employment drug screens. A drug screen is essential in situations where a candidate will be working with heavy machinery or in dangerous environments.

Driving Records:

Checking a candidate’s driving records is appropriate when the position involves driving or the use of a company car. There are two good reasons to launch a driving record check on a potential employee: to encourage safety in the workplace and for insurance purposes. It is important to protect both your employees and the company’s physical investments.

Credit Check:

It is responsible practice to request consent to perform a credit check when the job profile requires handling money. Employers like banks and accountancy firms would do well to ensure that the candidate can be trusted with money.

Ensure that you are using a reputable credit check service. Some of these services buy up vast amounts of public information but do not update it or make the relevant changes to it. As a result, there is a lot of misinformation in public records.

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