Dec 28, 2012 Quinn Thomas
Background checks have been around for generations, but as technology progresses, so does the way we gather information, from consumer credit data to the history of potential employees. Here are some background check trends that may appear in 2013.
Policy makers are constantly struggling between creating laws that ensure thorough background checks while also protecting privacy interests of job seekers and employees. Employers who conduct checks will need new disclosure forms. These forms are meant to ensure that all searches are in compliance with the states’ various Online Privacy and Protection Acts. However, many U.S. background check firms send these forms offshore, to be assessed beyond the protection of U.S. privacy and identity theft laws.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has also issued new guidance that warms private sector employers of overusing criminal records in background checks. According to Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, the EEOC worries that criminal background checks could have negative impacts on employment opportunities for minorities. When using criminal records to exclude an applicant from being hired, the employer must show that the exclusion is job-related and how the conviction would disqualify the employee from the particular position.
With technology, background checks are becoming more automated. This will only increase as we move into 2013, and various tools will help integrate elements of the hiring process. Cloud-based software as a service (SAAS) applications will connect Applicant Tracking System, Human Resources Information System and other databases so that everything is stored together and can be accessed by more parties. This is extremely useful not only for hiring employees, but as a way to recruit and retain them.
Integration allows for efficiency, but can also lends itself to the threat of identity theft and breaches in online privacy. Companies must choose secure SAAS applications if they decide to use cloud computing technology.
Most employers only do one background check at the beginning of the hiring process. Follow-up checks are unlikely. However, this is due to change in 2013. The Ohio Department of Health, for example, has proposed new administrative rules requiring all home health agencies to conduct criminal background checks on all employees at least once every five years, according to Med City News. The department hopes these constant checks will ensure that home health agencies employees providing direct care to a child or adult has not recently participated in any disqualifying offenses.