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A beginner’s guide to completing background checks

You found the best applicants. What’s next?

Growing businesses often reach a point where their workload exceeds the time of their staff. When that point approaches, managers must consider recruiting and hiring new team members to meet the rising demand.

Growth opportunities are an exciting sign of progress, but expansion comes with responsibilities and potential liabilities. Minimize risk and hire with confidence by running background checks on your job applicants as part of your hiring process.

If you are new to background check procedures, follow this beginner’s guide to completing background checks. Then, we will help you establish an efficient, transparent process for screening your new employees.

Choose a background check agency

No matter the needs of your company, your hiring team can benefit from a partnership with a background check agency. Companies that specialize in background checks offer unique resources and insights to guide you through the entire screening process. Build a relationship with an agency early in your company’s life to set a solid foundation for future hiring.

Your screening agency should be compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), offer accessible and responsive customer support, customize its services to your needs and provide cost-effective and timely reports.

Explain your screening process to candidates

The FCRA and screening best practices oblige you to maintain transparency with applicants. Before you begin screenings, clarify to candidates why a background check is necessary and how the report can affect their employment.

You and your background check agency will set packages and searches based on your needs and industry. You will then establish an employment policy and guidelines for your screening process. Make these guidelines available to potential applicants so they can decide whether or not to pursue a position. When applicants are aware of the potential consequences of their reports, give them an FCRA-required consent form that they must sign for you to proceed with screenings.

Gather information from applicants

Once candidates know how you will use their report and submit their signed consent form, your background check agency may begin searching their records. Most agencies will check local, state and national criminal records, sex-offender registries, watchlists and identity verification records. The more information about your applicants you can provide to your agency, the more comprehensive and accurate the reports will be.

A full name, a Social Security number and a birthdate can be enough information for a basic background check. However, to get more specific results and maximize accuracy, it can be helpful to provide a current address. Driver’s license numbers or passport numbers may be also required for driving record checks or international watchlist checks.

Review and interpret the report

Your background check agency will present you with their findings and should be available to answer any of your questions about the contents of the reports. As you review their results, refer to the guidelines and employment policy. Your company established for acceptable background reports to stay aligned with your requirements.

If the results of an applicant’s report are the reason you choose not to hire them, you must notify them and explain how the report influenced your decision. At that point,  they will have an opportunity to dispute the report before you move forward with your remaining applicants.

With that, you now have your beginner’s guide to completing background checks. Now what?

To kick off your background check process, contact One Source Client Relations and start hiring with confidence.

The 5-step guide to starting your company’s background check process

As your business grows, your team must expand to support new demands. Hiring can be an exciting process that adds bright new perspectives to your processes and bolsters your company’s integrity. However, uninformed hiring choices can have a negative impact on your team. So, deciding who to trust with the growth of your organization is crucial.

Pre-employment background checks offer valuable information that allows you to make more knowledgeable choices about your future employees. If your business has a minimal background screening process or no screening process at all, you should consider formalizing your background check policies before you make your next hiring decision. An official background check process makes hiring more streamlined and offers transparency and honesty to applicants.

Follow this step-by-step guide to create a reliable background check process for your company.

Step 1: Take inventory of your needs

Before you can choose a background check company or move forward with specific screening policies, you must decide what you want to get out of a background check process. First, identify reasons why you should screen applicants for various positions. Different jobs may require different levels of restriction and security. You can then tailor your background check policies to your company’s different job descriptions.

Also, you should decide early on how much you are able to budget for background checks. It’s less costly to pay for diligent background checks than to deal with potential increased liability of not screening.

Step 2: Understand and comply with background check laws

Job applicants have distinct rights during the background process. While a background check company will help you comply with laws, it is important for you to understand the rights and privacy privileges of your applicants.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the primary regulator of how reports are used by employers. The FCRA ensures that applicants are aware you are screening them and places responsibilities on the employer to protect the privacy of applicants.

Step 3: Clarify your policies

Once you recognize your company’s background check needs, team up with your legal counsel to mockup an applicant screening policy. That policy should inform applicants about which background check company is running the checks, what types of screenings will be run, how the information in their report will affect decisions and how disputes will be handled. It is also a good practice to offer applicants with an explanation of which offenses will bar them from certain positions.

Step 4: Find a company that fits your needs

When choosing a company to run background checks for you, consider the role you want the company to play in your hiring process. Full-service background check companies can be reliable partners throughout hiring that will help you interpret results and ensure you make informed decisions. Online background check services offer quick results but are less hands-on and may not be FCRA compliant.

No matter what you choose, verify the service you enlist is compliant with FCRA and accredited by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA).

Step 5: Know what to do with information from a report

Based on the background check policy your company created, you will have guidelines on how to respond to certain charges on an applicant’s report. If you decide to remove an applicant from consideration due to information on their report, you are taking adverse action. When taking adverse action, you must notify the applicant of your decision and provide reasoning for it.

If you have any further questions about how to proceed, contact your background check company. Also, you can get in touch with One Source’s Client Relations Ream today.