What’s an Employee Background Checks?
An employee background check is a review of a candidate’s criminal records, driving records, and whether they are on a terror watch list or sex offender registry. Background checks are usually carried out by a background check service and may include a credit and credential check.
Steps to Take Before Doing Background Checks
Have a consistent policy
This will be best documented in a flow chart to enable everyone to know what steps to complete and what points. Shabby background verification check processes can cause legal issues if you are only applying some steps to some candidates, like only doing credit checks on candidates from specific backgrounds.
Seek Legal Advice
Background checks can reveal sensitive information and, in some states, you are not able to gather certain information as part of a background check. Discuss with a lawyer to ensure your background check does not cause legal issues for your company.
Allow candidates room to clear up mistakes or misunderstandings
Information obtained via background checks may be incorrect. Thus giving candidates a chance to review information can help you save a great candidate that could have been excluded incorrectly.
Use background check services that are FCRA compliant
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) states plainly what you can and cannot do as part of a background check with regards to credit details. This document offers a nice summary of how the information should be treated from the candidate’s perspective.
Almost all background checks are governed by the FCRA, but you should also know that there are many other laws that affect them, based on state and region.
Don’t assume parts of the background check process are routine
Critical information will often pop up in the most mundane steps of the background check. Ensure that hiring managers take the process seriously and that they pay attention to the valuable information obtained.
Avoid asking for information about character while verifying previous employment facts
Once you start asking for opinions/questions about character, attitude, etc., you’re doing an investigative consumer report. This falls under the federal law, and you’ll be needed to give notice to the applicant, give them an option to ask for details, as well as comply with their requests. If this sort of information is what you need, it’s best to get legal advice first.
Things Included in a Basic Background Check
Address history check
Address history check traces previous addresses for the candidate. Knowing where a candidate has lived will make it easier to verify other research, and may reveal jurisdictions where criminal background checks should be carried out.
Social security validation
Social security number ensures the candidate’s social security number is authentic and finds all names, including aliases and variations, dates of birth and address history linked with the social security number. This shows employers whether the candidate has lived in undisclosed locations or under other aliases, which may reveal criminal records that would not have been found otherwise.
Criminal records check
Criminal records check offers criminal history for the applicant. This is essential for positions of trust/security. Criminal records check should include national and county records.
Sex offender registry check
Sex offender registry check is extremely important for positions of trust, this check is included with most background checks.
U.S. terror watch list check
Most background checks look to see if the candidate is on the U.S. terror watch list and is essentially important for security jobs.