When you hire a new person, you don’t simply need to find someone in the moment. You need to find someone you can trust as a long-term member of your team. You need a new hire who will do their work safely, honestly, and with respect for their employer and their co-workers.
While it’s tempting to rely on your instincts to guide you to the right person, instincts aren’t always trustworthy. Background screenings can supply information that even the strongest intuition can’t pick up, like specific criminal history data or information about training and credentials.
Background screenings also provide other value to employers. For example:
Background screenings help protect your company.
Company leadership, managers, and employees have a legal duty to protect their organization from foreseeable harm. A company may be responsible for harm caused by an employee if that harm was reasonably foreseeable.
For example, suppose that an employee hired to make deliveries runs a red light in their delivery truck, crashing into another driver. An investigation reveals that the employee had been drinking, and a background check turns up several prior convictions for drunk driving. The employer may be held liable if it hired the driver without knowing about the conviction history.
An employer who does the background check before hiring finds information like prior convictions that could result in dangerous future situations. This information allows the employer to make a safer choice and protect itself from liability.
The background check offers an opportunity to demonstrate good-faith compliance with applicable laws.
Background checks are governed by the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). FCRA allows employers to use background checks for a clear business interest, such as protecting the company from liability for negligent hiring.
To comply with FCRA, companies must provide a summary of the applicant’s rights under the Act before running the background check. The company also has to get the applicant’s consent in writing. Job applicants also have other rights under FCRA, such as the right to see the report and to challenge an adverse decision based on the report, like a decision not to hire.
All this may sound like red tape. Yet it also provides an opportunity to improve communication with applicants, evaluate their responses, and to establish a pattern of good-faith compliance with legal regulations. All three of these opportunities build a stronger foundation for a business’s ventures.
Background checks extend beyond criminal histories.
Most job candidates and many employers hear the words “background check” and think of criminal histories – information about arrests, charges, and convictions.
Criminal histories are one common reason employers run background checks. Yet they are not the only reason to run a background check. In addition to learning about a candidate’s criminal history, a background check can be used to examine:
A candidate’s education, licenses, or credentials.
Did your top candidate actually receive the education they claim? Did they earn a degree, certificate, or credential demonstrating they completed their course of study? Did they take the courses and earn the grades they claim they did? Are any licenses or other necessary credentials current and in good standing?
A background check can help answer all these questions. For employers who hire employees with essential credentials, such as a CDL or a professional license, such a background check is a must.
A candidate’s history of driving and motor vehicle activity.
Does the candidate have a valid driver’s license? Does that license include any endorsements that are essential to the job? What does the candidate’s driving history look like – do they have a clean record, or do tickets trail behind them like confetti at a parade?
While driving history isn’t essential for every candidate, many roles require employees with clean, legally compliant driving records. A background check can help you spot whether a candidate is likely to follow the rules of the road or break them.
A candidate’s relationship to drugs.
Drug testing is a common part of the background check process for many employers and positions. Since many substances can impair a candidate’s ability to work safely, it’s vital to know whether candidates are using drugs before making a final job offer. Periodic drug tests during employment may also help improve both workplace safety and worker health.
Want to know more about your most promising job candidates? Background screenings can help you verify key details and better understand how a candidate might fit with your existing team. Talk to the team at Metrodata Services to learn more.