By Katie Kulp


In the business world, nothing lasts forever. At every level of your infrastructure, only constant innovation will keep you ahead of your competitors. Is it time to rethink your hiring policy? Here are a few questions you should be asking about how your company conducts background checks.

Review your applications

A common thread appearing in jurisdictions throughout the nation is a move towards “ban the box” initiatives. In order to protect the rights and privacy of candidates, more and more courts are demanding that businesses delay background screening until later in the hiring process. With a few exceptions, these movements are gaining traction around the country.

Even if your local jurisdiction hasn’t yet taken a stand on the issue, it’s time to review your applications and consider a change. After all, the upcoming midterm elections could mean a sudden shift in your legal landscape. In addition, staying ahead of the curve could help you gain an edge over local competitors.

Define when you will perform a background check

If you don’t perform your background checks in the initial phase, when should you do it? Though there is some room for variation between businesses, your organization needs a fixed policy that will be followed in all cases, thus avoiding confusion or unfair claims of discrimination.

A primary concern in all aspects of background screening is respect for the candidate’s privacy. By delaying screening and limiting it to candidates who have a legitimate chance of being hired, you ensure fewer background checks and less personal information being collected. As such, you limit your potential liability regarding breaches of privacy. In general, it is best to perform background screening only after a conditional offer to your favorite candidate, and many state and local laws require that you stick to this standard.

Rethink what type of background checks you will run

Not all types of background checks are needed for every hire – and some may even be inappropriate! Credit checks, for example, are only necessary in rare cases, and could otherwise open your business up to legal action. Your background screening agency should be able to help you craft tailor-made screening solutions for each hire.

Check for compliance with the FCRA and EEOC

As the primary bodies that govern hiring and background screening policies, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) have the final say regarding what background screening policies are appropriate. You should be alert for updates in their legislation, and check with your background screening agency before making any changes to your policies.

Eliminate “bright line” hiring policies

Drawing a thick line in the sand that prohibits the hiring of candidates with a criminal history might seem like a sound measure on many levels, but it conflicts with almost every form of hiring legislation that is currently on the books. Since bright line hiring policies are sure to put you at odds with anti-discrimination laws, you should strike them from your policy manual immediately.

Are you ready to take your background screening process to the next level? Chane Solutions is eager to work with you as you develop a new strategy for the future. To learn more about our comprehensive and cost-effective services, contact a representative today.

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