Background Screening Benefits & Terminology
Years ago, the procedures for hiring an employee usually begin with interviewing an applicant and end in deliberating who stood out during the interview process. Today companies are becoming more stringent, utilizing diverse and sophisticated selection tools to identify the best candidates and eliminate those who do not fit the bill. The types of checks that are now being conducted include employment references, character reference check, gaps in employment history, credit history, education verification, psychological profiling, and criminal history reports.
Among the many types of employment tests present these days, criminal background check, is without doubt, the most commonly used employment selection process used by many business companies. This is, after all, a good way to assess whether or not you're choosing the right candidate for the position, as well as making sure that the hired applicant is going to be a true asset in your business.
There are several good reasons why more and more companies are requiring criminal background screening, such as:
- To ensure a safe and work environment for employees
- To reduce legal liability for negligent hiring
- To reduce/prevent theft, embezzlement, and other criminal activities
- To comply with applicable State law requiring a background check
- To assess the overall trustworthiness of the job candidate
- To check for potential discipline problems
- To verify application information and reveal lies in resumes or CVs
- To reduce insurance costs
Things That Employers Look For In A Background Check
Conducting background checks can be quite expensive - not to mention, time-consuming. The employer practically covers all of the expenses that are associated with every test that is required of a potential employee. Among the things that employers typically look for in a background check include the following:
- Discrepancies. Background checks allow employers to find out discrepancies between what an applicant claims on his/her CV and what is reported by schools or previous employers. The discrepancies are likely to come out during Employment or Education Verification.
- Negative Reports. Many employers also look for negative reports that involve the job applicant. This is to determine whether or not the applicant may have the potential to show discipline problems or negative behavior in the course of his/her stay with the company. Driving record, Drug or Alcohol problems, or a criminal history is among those that employers would likely to look out for in this stage.
- Honesty and Integrity. Your background check result can spell the difference between what you claim and what your actual references claim. Employers want to know whether the people they are hiring possess the kind of character they introduce during the initial interview.
The Pros And Cons Of Background Screening
Just like every other test procedures, employee background checks also have their share of advantages and disadvantages - both on the part of the employee and the employer.
- A properly carried out background check protects an employer against possible lawsuits in the future.
- It increases applicant quality.
- It helps decrease workplace violence.
- It helps discover drug or alcohol problems in applicants.
- It encourages employees to live a drug-free lifestyle.
- It increases employee productivity.
- Background checks are expensive and consume too much time.
- Inability to deal with private information and data in a responsible manner can result in penalties for the employer.
- Some employees feel that the process is an invasion of privacy.
- Background checks reveal information that a potential employee is not comfortable disclosing to the employer.
Although criminal background checks are permitted in many states, it is important for employers to understand that they do not have unlimited rights to explore an applicant's background and personal life. Consulting a professional corporate lawyer would help if you are not sure what type of pre employment background checks are acceptable and up to what extent you can use the results when making hiring decisions.
Background Check - refers to the process of looking up and compiling criminal records, commercial records and financial records of an individual. This procedure is commonplace in the work environment.
Criminal Background Check - this type of background check involves the process of digging an individual's criminal records. There are several types of criminal record searches available to employers; however, the best way to conduct an accurate background check is to go directly through the state. If you are requesting a background check for employment or licensing within the U.S., you may be required by state statute or federal law to submit your request through your state identification bureau, the requesting federal agency, or another authorized channeling agency.
Litigation Records - some employers may want to identify potential employees who routinely file discrimination lawsuits. It has also been alleged that in the U.S., employers that do work for the government do not like to hire whistleblowers who have a history of filing qui tam suits.
Financial Information Checks - this normally include checking of credit scores, liens, civil judgments, bankruptcy, and tax information may be included in the report. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) employers must obtain an employee's written consent before seeking an employee's credit report. If an employer decides not to hire or promote someone based on information in the credit report, the employer must provide a copy of the report and let the applicant know of his or her right to challenge the report under the FCRA.
Sex Offender Registry - this is one of the areas explored during criminal background screening to determine whether or not an applicant has been involved in any activities of sex offenders.
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