Running an employment background check in Buffalo, NY is quite different today than it was a few years ago. Is your company is trying to stay current? Here are three trends to track.
Social Media Screening
Twenty years ago, employers wouldn’t have dreamed of searching a potential candidate’s house or mailbox for clues as to whether they would be a good hire. Today, much of this data is open to the public on social media sites. The concept seems simple. Google your applicant. If you find something you don’t like, disqualify them from consideration. Unfortunately, this DIY approach is extremely problematic. What if you find about their marital status, their religion or their national origin? According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), these all are facts you cannot ask about during interviews and cannot use to make hiring decisions. Knowing this information may put your business at risk for discrimination lawsuits. A better practice is to partner with an accredited screening service. These third-party vendors can deliver accurate reports without revealing protected characteristics, thus allowing your organization to make an informed and fair decision.
Traditionally, most businesses only ran background checks on new hires. However, online record systems and advances in artificial intelligence have made ongoing monitoring cheaper and more widely available. Uber announced its continuous screening program in July 2018, and Lyft followed suit in April 2019. Whereas rolling background checks and periodic rescreening can occur years apart, continuous monitoring provides almost immediate alerts to employers. Although this technology can help to keep companies, workers and customers safer, organizations must consider individual privacy issues as well. Exactly how much do you, as an employer, need to know? Should you have access to data, such as financial records or weapons permits, if it doesn’t relate to job performance? Compliance is a second issue. All businesses must follow federal and state laws when conducting both one-time and continuous screening. This can be tricky because some states argue companies must file the required FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) paperwork for every new search. (SHRM, 2019)
With data-breach stories constantly making the news, businesses need to be aware of their responsibility to both their employees and their applicants. A background check contains a considerable amount of personal data. Protecting this information is critical. Ask your screening partner how they safeguard personal data and what they would do in case of a breach. (SHRM, 2019) Internally, make sure your organization stores reports in a confidential manner and disposes of documents properly by erasing electronic files and/or shredding paper copies.
Are You Looking for a Qualified Screening Provider?
Since 1997, Metrodata Services has offered industry-leading background screening technology in Buffalo, NY and nationwide. We can assist you with both your pre- and post-employment background check needs. Find out how we can help today!