Mistakes to Avoid When Conducting Background Checks

When screening an employee, many businesses may choose to do so on their own, but what many fail to see are the in-depth regulations that come with conducting background checks. Oftentimes, this leads to companies missing standard considerations, thus leading to further complications down the road once an employee is hired or promoted. In order to avoid this, listed below are some common mistakes made throughout the screening process.

Little Research Done

Some employers may feel that researching an employee on a national criminal history database will tell them all they need to know. Not only can this be easily misconstrued, but there are a number of potential pitfalls and legal accountabilities associated with accessing this information. If you as an employer choose to research an applicant or current employee through a national database, it is absolutely vital that you verify this information through primary sources. Should any incident arise, delve into the information and confirm its validity through other primary sources.

Using Social Media

Many people today agree that having damaging information or photos on one’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media profiles will prevent applicants from being hired. While this is true to an extent, employers that rely solely on social media to dictate their hires are bound for legal trouble. More often than not, researching potential employees this way is considered a violation of privacy. Federal and state laws were established for this reason, and employers are no longer allowed to request login credentials, or disregard the terms and conditions of any social media platform in general. If you choose to research an applicant via social media, inform them beforehand, and do not exceed a profile set to private.

Proceeding Without Permission

Giving a job candidate full disclosure and obtaining his or her consent before conducting a background check is a legal obligation, clearly stated in the federal and state laws previously mentioned. Discuss your screening process with applicants, attorneys, and any third-party background check company (like S2Verify) that you choose to work with to ensure all members are aware of what is involved. Additionally, practice transparency when explaining whether or not the results of the background check played a role in the hiring or promoting of an employee.

Taking Shortcuts
It is not uncommon for businesses or nonprofits to avoid background checks entirely depending on the duration of an employee or volunteer’s time with them. Temporary workers, contractors, and vendors are often the most neglected when it comes to screening. What employers should consider is that any and all employees that have access to their buildings or grounds at all should be screened. Regardless of a worker’s time alongside you and your fellow employees, failing to run a background check on them can lead to mistakes, failures, and even danger.

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