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Pre-Employment Screening Trends to Note Ahead of 2020

New Years Eve 2019 in Buffalo, NY

Your company wants to keep its employees and its customers safe. Therefore, you take prescreening candidates for a job very seriously. So, are you up to date on the latest developments 

Here are threbackground screening trends to track in 2020:  

Ban-the-Box Laws

To prevent employment discrimination against individuals with criminal recordsa growing number of states and cities have passed ban-the-box lawsThese rules do not eliminate background checks, but they do restrict employers from asking candidates about their criminal history until later in the hiring process. In other words, the old standby application question, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” may completely disappear. Advocates of this legislation hope organizations won’t automatically disqualify ex-offenders (who may turn out to be fantastic employees and role models) simply because they made a mistake. Although the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) supports the intent of these laws, they have expressed concern about “the current framework of fragmented and varying legislation at the state and local levels.” National movements, like 2015’s Fair Chance Pledge, may pave the way for federal Ban-the-Box regulations in the future. 

Screening Contingent Workers

Between companies like Uber, Instacart, and TaskRabbit, the gig economy is on the rise. According to current estimates, there are as many as 75 million freelancers, independent contractors and contingent workers throughout the United States. Initially, many organizations didn’t spend the time or resources to screen workers who weren’t technically employees. However, this standard is changing. Recently, several lawsuits have been filed against ridesharing services for failing to run the background checks needed to protect their customers. Even when contractors don’t have direct contact with consumers, these workers still represent the employer’s brand, and they may have access to sensitive material. Businesses are starting to take notice of the dangers. 2016 benchmark report showed close to a 100% increase in contingent and extended workforce screening over five years.    


Social Media Checks

In a 2018 survey70 percent of employers said they used social media to screen candidates during the hiring processThis may seem like a savvy and cost-effective method for companies to vet future hires, but these searches also can “create a legal minefield of potential liability.” (SHRM, 2019) When employees review an applicants online presence, they also inadvertently learn about protected characteristics such as race, religion, age, sexual orientation, and disabilities. Legally, an employer cannot ask about these topics during an interview, and they cannot use this data to make hiring decisions. To assist businesses in collecting valuable online information without violating the FCRA or the EEOC, more background check providers are offering social media searches (scrubbed of protected characteristicsas part of their suite of products 


Are You Looking to Partner with a Leading Background Screening Provider in 2020? 

Metrodata Services is the premiere pre-employment background check company in Western New York. We can help your organization keep on top of trends and regulations so you can minimize your hiring risks. Learn more about all the screening solutions we have to offer!    

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