Why More and More Employers are Conducting Pre-Hire Background Checks

By Special Guest Writer: Tim Hudec of Justifacts Regardless of the size of your business, pre-employ...

Posted by Carla Pittman, Senior Manager on May 15 2013
Carla Pittman, Senior Manager
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By Special Guest Writer: Tim Hudec of Justifacts

background checkRegardless of the size of your business, pre-employment screening is a necessary practice to avoid lawsuits and costly hiring mistakes. Because of security and litigation concerns, corporate scandals, and workplace violence, pre-employment screening has become a crucial element in the hiring process. In fact, recent studies show there are roughly two million acts of violence in the workplace each year.

Making the right hiring decisions for your company is critical to business success. Poor hiring decisions can lower your team’s morale, hinder productivity, and even impact customer relations. In addition, the cost of replacing an experienced employee who is not the right fit can be over 50 percent of that individual’s salary—higher if the employee has specialized skills.

A comprehensive background check can not only save money, but it can also protect your business. Investigating the background of a potential hire minimizes the risk of negligent hiring lawsuits. You and your company can be held liable for the actions of a new employee, especially if you did not show your due diligence by performing a background check, or if you did not perform an adequate background check. With settlements from negligent hiring lawsuits costing companies close to one million dollars on average, most employers are finding the small cost of conducting background checks money well spent.

Prior to beginning a background check, it is important to comply with the regulations set forth in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which serves as the governing body of the background screening industry. Note that laws vary from state to state regarding how and what kind of information can be used during the pre-employment screening process, as well as which information can be reported in the background check report.

One solution for businesses undertaking pre-employment screening is to employ the services of a background checking company. Hiring a reputable and experienced provider will give you the assistance you need in finding accurate and complete information on candidates. Reliable background screening providers offer a choice of services, customizable to your individual hiring needs. Additionally, your outsourcing partner will be able to guide you through legal requirements, as well as federal and state regulations.

Another important practice is to train staff members who will be involved in pre-employment screening. Your account management team at Justifacts specializes in guiding clients through this process, including the handling of sensitive information such as date of birth and social security number. Furthermore, most background reports contain information about arrest records, which requires a different analysis than actual criminal convictions, since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) frowns on employers relying on applicants’ arrest records in making a hiring decision.

Although the issue of remaining FCRA compliant may seem cumbersome, it is important the process be followed in order to protect both the applicant and your organization against errors in court, school, and government records, as you also protect your company and current employees against misinformed, or under-informed, hiring practices.


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