Understand Background Checks

How long does it take to conduct background checks?

Majority of the checks are completed within 72 hours. There can be certain circumstances that cause delays in the process due to court closures or unresponsiveness by past employers or academic institutions.

Who should be checked?

Organizations choose to perform background checks on each and every employee working with them. This makes their hiring process more consistent and guides the hiring managers in making surer hiring decision. Organizations should conduct background checks on candidates who:

  • Work with the elderly, children or disabled;

  • Have to handle money;

  • Have the access to the financial information of the organization;

  • Have work inside private homes;

  • Drive vehicles for others;

  • Work in security positions.

Should I conduct a background checks before or after making a job offer?

There are different times when conducting a background checks can give best results and this is totally dependent on an organization’s requirement and processes.

  • Request the candidate to fill out an application and a separate document when they submit their resume and take their permission to run the screening.

  • If you are going to conduct more than one round of interview during the hiring process, start the screening before inviting the candidate for the final round of interviews.

  • When you are going to conduct only a single interview, inform the candidate that the job offer is provisional and dependent on the results of the background checks. It is also important to get a written consent from the candidate in the form of a separate document apart from the job application.

Is it important to get candidate’s consent before initiating background checks on them?

Yes, it is important for you to get the written consent from the candidates before ordering the background checks from a background verification company. Candidates have legal rights which are protected by national laws that mandate employers not to run background checks without the candidate’s permission. It also assures that the background checks is conducted by taking into consideration the privacy of the candidate, which makes the background screening company to remain within the parameters of compliance laws.

What is due diligence?

Due diligence is the process of taking the necessary safety measures during the hiring process to ensure that the business assets are protected from the harmful effects of negligent hiring litigation and workplace violence. In today’s fast evolving economy, employers are looking to streamline operations and maximize the potential of their most important assets, their employees. With the help of the right workforce it is possible for the employer to make their brand a grand success in the marketplace. Comprehensive background screening helps this objective by exercising due diligence and gives legal protection to the employees.

What is negligent hiring and how can I protect my organisation from negligent hiring liability?

Negligent hiring is hiring of an employee who was not qualified enough to get selected. The case for negligent hiring begins when a claim is filed by an affected party against an employer on the basis of a theory that the employee knew or should have been more careful while scrutinizing the employee’s background which if known, should have disqualified the employee from consideration.

One way to protect your organization from negligent hiring liability is by conducting a comprehensive background checks on potential employees. This may include: verifying education and work histories, check references, conducting interviews and criminal history search on all candidates who have been given a conditional offer of employment.

What is adjudication in the US?

In the hiring process, adverse action means that an employer is considering not to hire a candidate or that they may withdraw an offer on the basis of the consumer reports generated. The process for an adverse action is very simple. First of all, a pre-adverse action is sent by the employer. It includes a legal notice that a discrete information in the report has led to a possible adverse action. The notice must include:

  • The process of providing additional information;

  • A copy of the background checks report;

  • Step by step process of initiating the dispute process;

  • An FCRA notice;

  • Other state related attachments if applicable.

If the candidate does not respond to the notice within a specific period of time (normally a week) then a final or post adverse notice is sent to the candidate. Although, the entire process might seem to be burdensome it is extremely critical to follow the protocol.

How long should I retain background checks reports?

As such there is no set regulations for employers to retain background checks reports for a specified period of time. Certain factors to consider like: a candidate, employee or regulatory agency can sue you for any violation related to background checks report. This makes employers to save the background checks reports for some years before discarding them off.

Typically, it has been observed that employers retain hired employees’ background checks reports for three years from the date of employment termination, and non-hired candidates’ background checks reports for a duration of six years from the date of the no-hire decision.

Is drug screening really necessary for new joiners?

When employees take drugs it has an adverse effect on their health and safety. It also results in decreased productivity and poor employee morale. You can also incur additional costs in the form of health care claims, especially short term disability claims. This makes the case in favor of carrying out drug screening on new joiners. Some of the other reasons include:

  • To stop the employee from taking drugs;

  • To identify those employees early who are drug addicts that can be corrected;

  • To provide a safe work environment for other employees;

Why do I need an agency and a legal process when I can simply check the candidate’s background on Social Media?

There are wide array of reasons for HR leaders & employers to avoid performing online or social media candidate screens, but the biggest one is that by searching online, you might come across an information that should not be a part of the hiring selection process. It is important for you to understand the privacy and discrimination issues that can arise when you scrutinize their social media and online profiles. Some of the protected characteristics include color, religion, race, national origin, disability, citizenship status, age and gender.

If a candidate feels that their selection was not done due to any of these traits, they have every right to sue you for discrimination. This makes the case in favor of hiring a background screening agency and having a legal process in place to regulate the verification in question so that in the end, you do not end up in a legal coup.

What is the procedure of conducting drug screening in the US?

Normally employers are given a liberty when it comes to determining how an employee drug testing will fit in their organization. Only federally regulated organizations like the U.S. Department of Transportation has to comply with some regulations when it comes to drug testing.

Normally employers are given a liberty when it comes to determining how an employee drug testing will fit in their organization. Only federally regulated organizations like the U.S. Department of Transportation has to comply with some regulations when it comes to drug testing.

If SAMHSA guidelines are followed, the sample will be taken to a certified laboratory for comprehensive testing. It has been observed that the accuracy level is high at these laboratories as they are certified to test for five primary substances and alcohol. If the tests are found to be positive, the employer will be informed. It should be noted that certain medications will produce a positive result; hence it is important for the employees to provide any information pertaining to the prescribed medication that is taken.

How does a Fingerprinting check help an employer?

Normally employers are given a liberty when it comes to determining how an employee drug testing will fit in their organization. Only federally regulated organizations like the U.S. Department of Transportation has to comply with some regulations when it comes to drug testing.

Federal agencies conducting drug tests need to follow the SAMHSA Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing, require a medical officer to be present during testing. For workplace testing, urine analysis is the most common testing method being used which is conducted in a doctor’s clinic or medical facility selected by the employer. During the process, the employee provides a urine sample that is managed appropriately to avoid adulteration while also maintaining the privacy of the individual.