May 07, 2013 Quinn Thomas
As the economy continues to improve, more businesses are beginning to increase hiring efforts to expand operations and productivity in light of higher consumer spending. The on-boarding process is a critical component of corporate health, as the talent on hand needs to be adequately prepared to handle responsibilities and screened to ensure security and safety.
Background checking can be a difficult task, especially as employers need to walk the line between comprehension and fair searches. These processes are overseen by a variety of government agencies on state and federal levels, while policies and procedures must be in line with several pieces of legislation such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Businesses can streamline background screening processes by ensuring that all policies adhere to legislative guidelines and industry-recognized best practices. When concerned about the legality or accuracy of a background checking process, enterprises should consider outsourcing the tasks to a firm that specializes in the actions.
Taking a risk-management approach
AccountingWEB recently listed several tips for companies to consider when sculpting a background screening policy, asserting that a high number of businesses might not be adequately conducting these procedures in the modern era. According to the news provider, talent managers are more interested in the job-related attributes of applicants, and as a result often fail to check other necessary components of their histories.
The source explained that the term "consumer reports" involves a variety of information related to individuals going through background screening process, as dictated by the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. For example, many businesses will look into credit histories and past employment records, and these checks need to adhere to the various guidelines in place.
AccountingWEB suggested that drug tests, social media searches, education histories, criminal records and medical information can all be included in the background screening process, but must be done in a legal fashion. Denying an applicant because of a poor history in one of these categories can lead to severe sanctions, fines and hurt reputations.
The news provider suggested employers assess their background screening policies regularly to ensure they remain in compliance with the latest laws, focus on training managers in the best practices of checking applicant histories and keep accurate, comprehensive records of all actions taken. This will help keep the business out of harm's way, avoiding penalties from law enforcement entities and maintaining a safe work environment.
Actions to avoid
Angela Rud of Gray Plant Mooty recently wrote a piece explaining that background screening processes that get out of control can begin to look more like blacklists than professional policies. According to the expert, the wealth of personal information available to companies looking to make hires is greater than ever before, and some businesses are using this data incorrectly, making it harder for an applicant to get a job than it should be.
Managers and executives need to ensure that all background screening processes are legal and are conducted fairly to get the best talent and avoid a variety of headaches.