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4 Reasons to Screen Applicants with a Criminal Background Check

Vet your business’s applicants before bringing them into the fold with a quality employment background screening

An employee background screening gives you the context you need to make an informed hire for your company. For even greater insight, screen applicants with a criminal background check as part of that process. 

Verifying a criminal record as part of your pre-employment background check represents a must. If your prospective hire will carry out risk-laden tasks in their everyday role, this heightens in importance. These can range from driving a company vehicle to having facility keys to carrying a firearm. 

Furthermore, before baking a criminal background check into your pre-employment screening, make yourself aware of the restrictions. State and federal laws outline these rules and regulations, and anti-discrimination laws are in place to ensure applicants are treated fairly regardless of their past. Bringing on an employee with a checkered past isn’t uncommon—after all, most people deserve a second chance—and the results of a criminal background check don’t prevent you from making a hire. 

With that in mind, here’s why 4 reasons to screen applicants with a criminal background check. 

Protect your people

Hiring the wrong person doesn’t just put your business at risk. It can endanger the people around you.

However, while you can overlook a candidate’s past mistakes, you should be cognizant of your current employees and mindful of their safety. If you ignore a past transgression that could reoccur during normal work duties (e.g. hiring a delivery driver with a DUI), you could be in jeopardy of negligent hiring claims. It’s not illegal but can make your company liable (in this instance, if the employee was convicted of another DUI while on the job and injured someone).

Your new hire must integrate with your current staff and be safe around customers and the public. Therefore, ensure you have all the information to make a hire safe for all parties involved. 

Safeguard your company from risk

Adding a criminal background check to your pre-employment screening is like adding insurance to your hiring process. By making sure your applicants meet your company’s hiring standards, you’ll mitigate the risk of employing someone who could be a liability to your organization and employees.

Employing the wrong person could lead to countless unintended consequences if their record isn’t behind them. It can be avoided when you have all the pertinent information available to you before you send out offers.

Save time and money by hiring the right person—the first time

Hiring for open positions poses enough challenges. If you make the wrong hire because a criminal background check couldn’t save you from making an ill-advised hire, you can cost your company thousands.

Therefore, spare yourself some déjà vu and your business a financial loss. 

Avoid PR fallout

If a poor hire ends up endangering or harming customers or coworkers, you’ll have created a public relations crisis. On top of the money it costs your company to hire and fire a problem employee, it will cost your communications staff time and effort that could’ve been better spent on positive marketing outreach. To make matters worse, it can be harmful to your brand and make hiring the next time even harder.

Warning signs of belligerent behavior can be flagged in pre-employment background checks that include criminal record screenings.

New to the world of background checks? Then, explore our wide array of insights, tips and employment background screening guides on the OneSource blog.

Learn how to hire a reliable contractor

A guide to certified contractor checks

Contractors provide invaluable services many organizations lack the time or resources to do themselves. They can bring buildings up to code, install new hardware, offer technology support and much more. Organizations may also rely on contractors to upgrade facilities or keep them running efficiently. But how do you learn to hire a reliable contractor?

While most organizations run background checks on employees, few screen the contractors they hire. The contractors may be checked by the company they work for, but their standards may not align with your organization’s standards. This means you may be giving a contractor access to your property and information without knowing if they can be trusted with access.

Fortunately, there are several ways to ensure your organization hires trustworthy contractors. Take the following steps to avoid scams, protect your organization and learn how to hire a reliable contractor. 

Research potential contractor firms

Before you decide which contracting firm will suit your organization’s needs, look up the best contractors in your area and compare them. There are websites where people can candidly review and rate contractors. If you notice certain firms have patterns of reviewers complaining or accusing them of scams, you should take that firm out of consideration.

It also helps to ask colleagues and friends for referrals, so you get a firsthand understanding of how a firm works. The best contractors often arise through word of mouth, but that does not mean they are infallible. You should check a firm’s history, licensing and qualifications before you select them.

Ask your contractor plenty of questions

Develop a shortlist of contracting firms and contact each for a quote on the cost of your project. You can gain further information about their processes to help you make an informed decision.

Ask each firm about their experience on projects similar to yours and request a list of references. They should be able to give you examples of recent clients who were satisfied with their work, the reliability of the workers and the cost efficiency.

You should also clarify if your project will require any permits and make sure the contractors will get those permits before they start working. On top of permits, contractors should have personal liability, workers’ compensation and property damage insurance so you will not be held liable for any damages or injuries.

Screen the contractors you choose

Once you have settled on a contracting firm, check the backgrounds of the contractors before you officially hire them. One Source offers a simple screening process that lets you know whether a contractor is eligible to access your site.

We perform our rigorous TotalCheck Plus screening, check our certified contractor requirements and then tell you if a contractor “meets requirements” or “does not meet requirements.”

Our One Source Certified Contractor guidelines ensure contractors are compliant with our checks. Plus, it’ll ensure they have no felony or misdemeanor convictions and a negative drug test. When you receive the check’s results, you can then hire your contractors and begin your project. And just like that, you learn how to hire a reliable contractor. 

To discover more about One Source Certified Contractor checks, contact One Source Client Relations.

Does your organization need a background check process?

Many organizations run screenings on potential volunteers, but some may find the idea of formalizing their organization’s background check process daunting. However, a formal volunteer background check protocol can make recruitment easy, safe and efficient. So, if you are unsure whether your organization needs to develop a background check process, answer these eight questions to find out.

1. Are you expanding your volunteer base?

Growing organizations must gain the loyalty of new volunteers to continue their efforts. However, more of them bring a higher-liability risk. You can expand your volunteer base with confidence by screening applicants and verifying their skills.

2. Are you trying to develop a trustworthy brand?

By cultivating a culture of honesty and responsibility, volunteers and donors will be drawn to your organization’s strong reputation. Background checks can help ensure that you choose volunteers that will uphold your organization’s values. Therefore, volunteers can be your greatest advocates if they represent your brand with reliability and respect.

3. Do you want to reduce turnover?

Minimizing turnover allows you to spend less time training new volunteers and more time fostering a positive environment for volunteers and those you serve. Build a strong core of consistent volunteers by authenticating their backgrounds and aligning them with your goals and ideals.

4. Are you looking for volunteers that will advocate for you?

Volunteers can carry a lot of weight for an organization, and some even rely on volunteers to run their day-to-day operations, promote their mission and recruit future volunteers. Therefore, those organizations must place their trust in volunteers to further their ambitions. So, background screenings can help you choose the volunteers who will advocate for you and stay dedicated to you.

5. Do you need to verify volunteers’ qualifications?

Some volunteer positions require prior training, education or knowledge. Before you send volunteers out into the field, you can get peace of mind by checking that their background is legitimate. Through a background screening, you can make sure your volunteers have all the qualifications they need to fulfill your mission.

6. Does your organization require skills that must be certified?

If your volunteers need to drive, operate machinery or perform any certifiable task while working for you, it is in your best interest to verify their abilities. Background checks can report on driving records and confirm all certifications. You can keep your volunteers and your community safe by making these checks a standard part of your recruitment process.

7. Do you want to avoid negligence claims?

While organizations do everything in their power to avoid issues, nothing can prevent all problems. So, should any problem arise, you can protect your organization from legal claims by performing background checks. Hence, screening all volunteers proves that your organization did its due diligence to maintain a safe environment.

8. Can your volunteers’ integrity affect your bottom line?

Your volunteers can be the face of your organization, and those in your community who interact with them should feel respected and uplifted. If just one volunteer leaves someone with a negative impression of your organization, it can throw you off course. So, to maintain your brand and character, screen volunteers and choose those who will live your principles.

In order to learn more about volunteer background checks or start your background check process, contact One Source Client Relations.

How far back does a background check report?

FAQs about the background check process

Background checks are common for volunteer organizations and nearly universal for employers. The vast majority of job seekers will go through the background check process several times through their career. However, few people ever see the results of their reports or know how reports can influence hiring decisions.

Below are some frequently asked questions about the behind-the-scenes of background screenings, so you can be prepared for your next job or volunteer application.

How far back does a background check report?

To provide a comprehensive report, One Source looks back as far as each county allows. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) does not restrict the time frame that can be searched for criminal convictions. Many background check companies do not search further back than seven years, but One Source searches further back whenever possible. By searching an extended period of time, One Source can report felonies and dangerous crimes that may not appear in a seven-year check.

Some states have their own guidelines that may prevent extended background checks, but One Source will report as much information as possible. If you would like to check a limited amount of time, One Source also has options for seven-year and 10-year checks.

Where is the information in a report found?

Background check agencies draw from numerous databases and court records to complete a screening. One Source searches public records including the Death Master Index and residential records to verify identities. Basic screenings also include checks of county, state and nationwide criminal records as well as the National Sex Offender Registry and global watchlists. Based on an organization’s specific needs, One Source can include additional checks such as driver history, professional license verification, drug testing and more.

How do background check companies make sure information is accurate?

To ensure a more complete and accurate report, provide background check agencies with as much identification information as you can. One Source needs a full name and a full birthdate to verify criminal case information. A Social Security number, an address and a driver’s license number will also help further authenticate records.

The FCRA requires screening companies do everything they can to “assure maximum possible accuracy” in their reports. One Source uses several trusted, verified databases and proven processes so you and the organizations you work with can have peace of mind.

Can I get a copy of my background check report?

Yes. If an organization runs a check on you, you are always able to request access to the report. You may ask the organization ordering the screening to send you a copy of the report or you can contact the background check agency directly. Contact One Source Client Relations to learn more about how you can receive a copy of your report.

Can I contest the results of my report?

Under the FCRA, the subject of a screening has the right to know what is in their report, and the right to amend any incorrect information. While One Source does everything in its power to provide accurate reports, you are free to contest the contents of your report at any time. Therefore, a background check agency must investigate a claim of false information within 30 days. If an organization takes adverse action against you based on incorrect data, notify the screening agency as quickly as possible.

To learn more about the background check process, request a report or contest a report, contact One Source Client Relations.