There’s Still Time to Evaluate Your Background Screening Program in 2014

Let me officially be the last person to wish you a Happy New Year!

I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. Why should you wait until January 1 to do something you should have been doing when you recognized a problem?

Case in point: My least favorite New Year’s resolution is for those who vow to work out more. From Feb. 15 through Dec. 31, there’s never a problem using equipment at my gym. Show up during the first 45 days of the year, however, and your 45 minute workout turns into an hour and a half snore-fest.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for getting into shape, but 45 days does not make a year.

That being said, I have a challenge for you (since I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I strongly encourage all human resources professionals resolve to evaluate your company’s employment background screening program from top to bottom in 2014 — the sooner, the better.

And lest you think this is a sales pitch, it most definitely is not. What I’m talking about is an evaluation of your processes.

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Things to consider when evaluating your screening program

Here are the Top 10 items to consider when evaluating your employment background screening program:

  1. When was the last time you evaluated your background screening policies and procedures?
  2. Are all incoming employees subject to an employment background check?
  3. Is the background screening criteria used relevant to the position you are hiring for?
  4. Have you clearly defined parameters for what information constitutes a non-hirable offense by position?
  5. Are you affected by the myriad “Ban the Box” laws throughout the country which prohibit you from asking if the candidate has been convicted of a crime on the job application?
  6. If so, have you worked that question into a different part of the hiring process?
  7. Are you using the proper disclosure forms required by state and federal laws?
  8. Are you sure that you are following proper Adverse Action procedures when you deny employment based on the outcome of an employment background check?
  9. When was the last time you audited your background screening company for accuracy and compliance?
  10. Have you developed the proper procedures to comply with the EEOC requirement for individualized assessment?

Why should you care?

Not more than a month went by in 2013 when we didn’t see a marquee press release announcing a multi-million dollar suit being filed against an employer for allegations of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act in conjunction with their employment background screening practices or discrimination in hiring practices for the same.

Whether these companies that are being sued are guilty or not, the cost to defend these allegations and the negative publicity surrounding these cases should be a big red flag for all.

This was originally published on the EmployeeScreen IQ blog.

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