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Criminal background screening guide provides insight into best industry practices

Jul 19, 2013 Quinn Thomas

Many companies choose to conduct pre-employment background screens. However, the process can be a complicated one due to a number of federal and state laws that make it a tricky field to navigate. For this reason, many business leaders decide to outsource the task to reputable screening companies that offer useful and professional services.

Especially when completing criminal screens, its important that regulations are followed. For this reason, various workers' rights organizations recently published a guide on best criminal background screening practices, according to The Background Investigator. It should provide more guidance for an already robust industry that is focused on adhering to current legislation.

The source stated that the new report centers on promoting procedures that are in line with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) standards for employment.

In total, the guide includes 15 points regarding policies on pending prosecutions, conviction analysis and other screening topics.

When scrutinizing convictions on applicant criminal records, there are a number of factors that the guide urges employers to consider. In particular, the age of an applicant when a crime was committed should be taken into account, as should the amount of time that has passed since a conviction. The source noted that the likelihood of an individual to re-offended decreases as the years pass.

Also, the amount of transgressions on a candidate's criminal record should be analyzed, as a single conviction may not indicate a pattern of criminal behavior. However, the presence of several crimes resulting from multiple incidents could show that a person is likely to commit another crime in the future.

The guide also indicated that any enterprise or person conducting a criminal search should make sure they are following Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) standards that regulate consumer credit report checks and other background screening activities.