How to Evaluate the Results of a Background Check For a safer, more productive workforce.
Safe to hire? Can you really know for sure?
“Nothing bad has ever happened. Why should I worry about this now?”
What we’ll cover today What to check for and why How to evaluate background check reports against the risks of the positions you are seeking to fill How to handle a “negative” background check When, why, and how to perform individualized assessments (what the EEOC wants to see) Other considerations
Finding the right people requires a hiring approach that is:
Fair to applicants
Delivers the best employees to the organization
At every step in the hiring process, and particularly in background screening, HR managers should address the threats of risk directly.
1. Posting jobs and sourcing candidates
2. Receiving applications
3. Interviewing candidates
4. Background checks on finalists
5. Presenting job offers
6. Onboarding new hires
Background Screening: What to Check for and Why
First, a few ground rules:
Job-related + business necessity
Consistent across applicants
Used consistently to make decisions
No ‘blanket’ policies
What to check: Start with a risk assessment:
Level of supervision Access to people and/or property Brand damage that could result Overarching role of human capital
Plan your program accordingly: This is where you answer the “why?” Role/Risk
Controller will have access to company’s bank account and financial information
Criminal and civil records check, reference checks, employment history verification will verify a person’s qualifications and trustworthiness in this role.
Administrative Assistant Operations Supervisor
Evaluating a background report.
Criminal records 101
Arrest vs. conviction records
The national database myth
How far back is far enough?
How to evaluate the results:
Create clear markers for your rejection criteria
Apply those markers consistently across all applicants
Be sure your decisions meet applicable laws and guidelines
Setting your rejection criteria: Job-related Business necessity Green Factors: 1. Nature and gravity of offense or conduct 2. Time passed since the offense or completion of sentence 3. Nature of the job held or sought
Consistency is key: Apply criteria consistently across all candidates for a given role Why?
Avoid legal trouble
Legal considerations: • FCRA • EEOC and Individualized Assessments • Ban the Box • To name a few...
FCRA: Do the Adverse Action 2-Step Don’t like what you see on the background check? Follow the two-step process defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
1. Pre-Adverse Action Notification
2. Post Adverse Action Notification
EEOC: Assess before you reject. Arrest or conviction record? An individualized assessment is STRONGLY recommended. Consider: The nature and gravity of the offense or conduct; The time that has passed since the offense or conduct and/or completion of the sentence; and The nature of the job held or sought.
EEOC: Individualized assessments When an applicant would be excluded based on the results of an initial criminal background check.
Factors to consider… Per the EEOC Guidance, an individualized assessment can consider a wide range of factors: •
Detailed facts or circumstances surrounding the crime.
The number of offenses the applicant has been convicted for.
The applicant’s age.
Evidence of rehabilitation, such as education or training.
The work history of the applicant, including whether he or she has been successfully employed in other, similar positions.
The relevance and character of an applicant’s references.
Ban the Box
Ban the Box laws prohibit employers from asking about criminal background at the application stage of hiring, and then using the answer to determine whether to exclude an applicant.
Dark blue states: State law (may also have city and county fair chance policies) Light blue states: At least one city and county fair chance policy
Protect against negligent hiring and retention
Screening helps exclude risky applicants.
Screening for relevant factors helps provide an effective defense against charges of negligence.
Should you hire a professional background screening company? Guidance on process Technology to facilitate ordering Facilitate candidate consent Streamline processing of orders A partner in the process