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5 Things You May Not Know About Background Checks

If you help with your organization’s hiring process or are applying for a new job, the impact and value of background checks are likely on your mind. Background checks equip hiring departments to make more informed decisions and expedite the entire process. While screening has become an extremely common part of hiring, few applicants or employers know what happens behind the scenes of background reporting.

To build strong background checks or apply with a better understanding of the process, it helps to know how screening reports are created. These five facts about background checks will help you handle screenings successfully.

Reporting a criminal record can be complicated

You won’t find one all-inclusive database where you can collect someone’s entire criminal history. Criminal records are dispersed throughout thousands of county, state and federal court documents, so it requires know-how and skill to compile a criminal record.

There is a wide variety of background checks

Most background reports offer more comprehensive information than a criminal history check. At One Source, a screening report includes a criminal record as well as applicant history trace, sex offender registry checks, global watchlist reports and additional screenings if you request them.

Applicants must be aware of and approve every screening you perform

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employers must get informed, written permission from every individual they wish to screen. This protects applicants’ rights and gives a clear protocol if employers want to remove an applicant from consideration due to their report.

Complete background reports can be created quickly

As we explained earlier, compiling the information in a screening report takes thorough checking and research. However, professionals working with excellent systems can build comprehensive reports in a matter of days. One Source can deliver a report in 48 hours while upholding the highest standard of quality.

The most effective screening processes continue beyond hiring

The most important time to run background checks is during hiring but making ongoing checks a regular expectation helps too. When your employees expect rescreening, they place trust in your culture of security and hold themselves accountable.

As you embark on your job search or hiring process, know what to expect from background checks. And know that One Source is here to partner with you to deliver expertise and excellence in screenings.

Questions Nonprofits Should Ask About Background Checks

Nonprofit organizations solve problems, enrich communities and advocate for social good. The altruistic nature of many nonprofits’ work includes consistent interaction with vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly and people with disabilities. In order for nonprofits to protect the people they serve and expand their mission, they must do everything in their power to ensure safety and honesty in their staff and volunteer base. 

One way nonprofits can promote security is by background checking all of their workers, both paid and volunteer. By screening everyone who would like to associate with a nonprofit, leadership can more carefully select those representing the organization and place more trust in its team members. Before any nonprofit initiates a screening policy, it should clarify these questions nonprofits should ask about background checks with a screening agency.

What background information do nonprofits need to know?

A criminal history check is the baseline screening every organization should run on their applicants. Different organizations may require more specialized checks like driving records or certifications, but background check agencies can easily bundle those screenings with criminal checks. One Source provides county, state, multi-court and federal criminal checks as well as searches of the National Sex offender Registry and global watchlists in its standard TotalCheck package.

TotalCheck provides a full picture of an applicant’s criminal history, and One Source can include additional checks if necessary. You should identify screenings that may be relevant to your nonprofit—driving history, child abuse registries, drug screening or others.

How can a nonprofit create an ideal screening program?

Background checks are just one piece of an entire resource toolkit nonprofits should use to promote a safe environment. By developing and implementing a security program, you can supplement the information from background checks and further build credibility. Safety should be an expectation integral to a nonprofit’s organizational culture.

All team members should be screened every few years so you can stay up to date on the status of everyone associated with your organization. Subsequent screenings paired with educational materials demonstrating how safety is imperative to your mission should help create a transparent culture of security. When staff and volunteers join your nonprofit with the understanding of regular screenings, they will be more open to all security measures. One Source has screening programs designed just for nonprofits to allow consistent screening and stay within budget with special nonprofit pricing.

What if a background report raises concerns?

In order to disqualify applicants ethically and consistently, create a code of expectations your nonprofit follows when reviewing background reports. Determine what offenses do and do not exclude applicants from participating in your organization and stick to that plan. If you need assistance in deciding how your nonprofit will interpret reports, One Source can help.

If you decide not to hire an employee or volunteer based on the results of their background check, you must follow (pre) adverse action requirements and notify them in writing of as quickly as possible. Provide context for your reasoning and give the applicant the contact information of your screening agency so the agency can handle any disputes the applicant may file.

You should be able to focus on doing good without having to worry about their team members. Nonprofit screening solutions with One Source can help your organization stay safe even on a budget. Contact One Source Client Relations to learn more.

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.