Hiring new employees is a significant step for your company. You’re excited about the growth you’re about to experience, but wary of the potential for things to go wrong. Many companies turn to background checks in their hiring processes to help them make the best decisions about their candidates. However, there are a lot of details and regulations to be aware of within the background screening process. Just as every company is different, every hiring process will also be unique. This is why it’s important to understand the ins and outs of background checks. When you know the rules and processes surrounding these screenings, you can build a compliant and effective hiring experience for every member of your company. To help you find success in this period of company growth, here is our guide to the dos and don’ts for employee background checks.
Don’t Cut Corners During the Search
There are plenty of ways to cut corners in your background checks. Free online screening services, in-house research, and other makeshift background checks might seem tempting—after all, they appear to be quite cost-efficient. Plus, with the rise of social media and other websites, it’s easy to find your candidates online. However, the only reliable way to obtain information about your candidates is through a verified consumer reporting agency. You can miss a lot of information or even find false information if you rely on makeshift background checks. Either of these outcomes can bring a lot of legal trouble to you and your company. You are responsible for hiring safe employees in a legally compliant manner. As such, you need to conduct a thorough, accurate, and fair background screening with every candidate you hire.
Don’t Make Rushed Decisions Based on Results
While a background check provides information about your job candidate, it doesn’t and shouldn’t automatically tell you if you should hire them or not. If a background check shows a criminal record or other information that makes you uneasy, you should talk to your candidate about it. Give them a chance to explain what happened. It’s possible that the spot on their record comes from a misunderstanding or relatively minor mistake that happened in the past. The information might also be a mistake, and your applicants have a right to dispute that inaccuracy. No matter what, the point of a background check is to give you the tools you need to make a careful decision. This means you should take your time and gather all the information before writing off a candidate.
Don’t Slack on Communication
Communication is an important part of everything you do as a company, and your hiring process is no exception. Be direct and open with your candidates every step of the way. Make room for both of you to ask questions. You should also have the information you need to give solid answers to your candidates. Be as clear as possible about your process, timeline, and other details your applicants might ask about. If you go quiet partway through the process, your candidates might think they’ve lost the job and move on to other offers. Keep up a solid channel of communication, even if you’re just waiting on the background check to return. This helps you stay in touch with your potential employee and start your relationship with them on the right foot.
Do Know What You Want Ahead of Time
Not all background checks are the same. Different industries and positions need to know different information about their candidates. For example, if you want to hire drivers, your background check should include the candidates’ driving record. You need to know the information you seek ahead of time so you can focus on the most useful screenings for your company and position. Look at the job requirements and qualifications you want from your new employees. Use this information to decide what you need to know about your new employee. This will help you stay focused during the screening and hiring process, making the experience as smooth and efficient as possible.
Do Build a Thorough and Consistent Hiring Process
It’s important that you treat each candidate fairly throughout the hiring process. The best way to do this is to create and follow written procedures about your company’s hiring policies. Gather all the information you need about hiring laws and regulations in your industry. You also need to look at local and federal laws to make sure your process stays compliant. Decide how your company will handle drug screening and other details. Having a solid and detailed set of guidelines helps you and your company stay consistent and fair every time you run a background check.
Do Recruit and Train Excellent Hiring Managers
Your hiring process is only as good as your hiring manager. You need someone who knows the ins and outs of the process so they can keep your company on track and help you make informed decisions about new employees. A good hiring manager understands all the requirements and regulations that surround recruitment and background checks. Beyond industry knowledge, however, you need a hiring manager who can make quality decisions without discriminating or showing favoritism. When you can trust your hiring manager to make the best decisions for the company, you are sure to find success with your entire recruitment process.
Do Obtain Employee Consent
Employee consent is crucial when it comes to the background check process. If you run a background check on your candidate, you need their written permission. Running a background check without this consent is a violation of your candidate’s rights and will likely lead to a lawsuit. Similarly, you need to ensure that the background screening agency you utilize follows regulations from entities such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Do Outsource to a Reliable Background Screening Company
Following the dos and don’ts for employee background screenings doesn’t have to be overwhelming. A dependable third-party background screening company can help your company conduct its background checks efficiently and effectively. When you outsource this process to a professional background screening company such as PSI Background Screening, you help create a compliant and successful hiring process for your business. We’ll gather the information you need to make informed, valuable decisions about who you bring onto your team. When you have a reliable background screening process, you have the solid foundation you need to help your company grow in numbers, reputation, and success.