News & Resources

Background screening best practices

Mar 18, 2013 Quinn Thomas

Background screening has been an increasingly important component of the on-boarding process for most enterprises, especially as high-profile instances of failed checks that led to serious issues continue to hit the national media. Criminal background checks should be implemented for organizations in a wide range of industries, though legal concerns can be highly complex.

Businesses that do not feel entirely comfortable with the background check process should consider using a third-party provider of the services to ensure quick, legal and effective screening procedures. Organizations can benefit from strong background check policies in a variety of ways, including reduced employee churn, more secure operations and increased transparency.

Why screen employees?
Resource Nation recently listed several reasons why employee screening is an important component of the hiring process, asserting that businesses need to walk the line between thoroughness and legality. According to the news provider, pre-employment screening procedures will be especially crucial in industries under more stringent regulatory compliance requirements, such as healthcare and financial organization.

As many data breaches and other security issues stem from either employee error or internal theft, background screening can reduce the risk of such crimes. The source noted that background screening will also help strengthen trust between new hires and the company, while reducing employee turnover.

Resource Nation posited that background screening can dramatically reduce the risk of hiring employees who violate policies or are simply not good fits for the company. Many studies indicate that high turnover can be a crippling issue for every organization, especially small businesses.

The news provider explained that skills tests can be incorporated into the background screening process to find the most qualified individual for each position. However, the source noted that background screening procedures can be complex, and should only be conducted when employers are sure their policies meet legal criteria.

New rule presented
Arnall Golden Gregory LLP recently reported that lawmakers in Washington are currently weighing a new bill that would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act. According to the law firm, this amendment was proposed by Tennessee Representative Steve Cohen and would prohibit employers from using credit reports in the hiring process, should it pass.

The organization explained that the public sector, as well as organizations that require security clearance, will not be affected by the potential amendment. However, all other firms will not be allowed to use credit reports to make adverse decisions related to employment.