How To Do an Employee Background Check

  1. Ask for consent – Be sure to ask applicants, in writing, to consent to the background check. An employer must have written consent. It protects the applicant’s privacy, informs them of their rights, and clearly states what will be included in the background check.
  2. Turnaround Time – Fast, accurate information is key in hiring candidates. Don’t miss out on a good candidate because your background check took too long. As a rule of thumb, national searches should have a 1 day turnaround time, while hand court searches average 2 business days.
  3. Business/Job Related Inquiries – Ensure the information is relevant to the business and the job you’re hiring for. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) states that you must have permissible purposes to run a consumer report.
  4. Federal and State compliance – Make sure the background screening service you are using knows the law in your state.
  5. Years in business – Make sure you use a reputable background check services that has a good reputation and with years of business to back it up. There are so many small vendors who are inexperienced.
  6. Reliability – Ask the consumer reporting agency (CRA) how they audit the data they receive to avoid a report with misinformation. A NABPS consumer reporting agency has strict guidelines they must adhere too that includes how data is audited.
  7. Negligent-hiring lawsuits – Don’t be a victim of a negligent hiring suit and perform your due diligence. Protect yourself, and run the appropriate background check!
  8. National and County Searches – Ensure that you’re running both national and county searches so you don’t overlook any offenses.
  9. Be consistent – We hear this in HR all the time and it certainly applies to background check practices. Don’t run a background check for select applicants, you would be asking for a lawsuit. Make it a practice and keep it consistent.
  10. Don’t do it yourself! – There are so many do it yourself Internet background search engines with lots of irrelevant information. Avoid these and use a professional vendor that provides solid and written reports.

Originally posted