How to Conduct a Background Check

It's important to understand the legal requirements of conducting a pre employment background check. Proper employee screening will minimize the chances of employee misconduct and reduce employee turnover that impacts a company's success and profitability. At the same time, an employee background check must be conducted in compliance with laws and regulations, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, that protect an applicant's rights.

Most of the emphasis in conducting a personal background check is typically on criminal records, but may also consist of financial information, drug tests, driving records, civil court cases, and more. Typically, an employment screening will not only look at criminal records, but also conduct a reference check and verify previous work history, education, and training to validate the applicant's qualifications for the position. Background checks may try to weed out an applicant who turns up fraud or theft-related charges in a criminal background check. Background checks may also look at things like bad credit, bankruptcy filings, liens and tax records to identify applicants under financial strain who may be more like to steal from the company. Driving records are likely to be checked if the position involves transportation. Civil court cases involving discrimination claims against past employers or whistle-blowing will often be looked at and can impact a hiring decision. Verification of immigration status and a social security number is often conducted as well.

The depth of the personal background check will vary by company and position. Conducting personal interviews with neighbors and landlords as part of a reference check to determine an applicant's character is possible. A more intensive employment screening may accompany jobs with more responsibilities for a company's success, which deal directly with the public, or handle sensitive information. Those dealing with a vulnerable population, such as children or the elderly, are more likely to have criminal records and sex offender registry information looked at closely during employee screening.

Fair Credit Reporting Act Requirements

When a background check includes consideration of a consumer report or credit report to make a hiring decision, the prospective employee must be given a pre-adverse action disclosure that a consumer report will be obtained during the employment check and consent in writing. If there is a decision not to hire the person, a copy of the consumer report, the FCRA summary of rights, and a notice of adverse action must be given to the applicant.

A written consent to a pre employment background check should be obtained from the applicant in all cases. US Legal Forms offers affordable, professionally drafted consent to personal background check and criminal background check forms that are easily completed in Word format.

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