NOT Hiring Someone Can Have Legal Ramifications; Let A Background Check Company Guide You Through The Process
As an employer, you want to know as much as you can about the people who will be working for you. What is their work history, education, certifications, things that might give you an idea of whether they have the training or skills necessary to perform the job. If you own a furniture store, you may need someone with a clean driving record to drive your delivery trucks. If you own a hair salon, you may require state certification. You may be looking for someone who has already compiled a significant amount of work experience. Some jobs are looking for people with specific backgrounds such as military or police experience. Pre-employment screening can help to identify those people who are who they say they are and those who are pretenders.
A background check company can do all these things for you and more. Retailers handle cash transactions, credit card information, checks and often personal information when completing applications for in-store credit or “reward” cards. For owners and managers of these stores it only makes sense to have a credit history check completed for potential job candidates. Pre-employment screening can include a credit check, show payment history and bankruptcy, liens and judgements against a candidate. Criminal history can also be checked on a local, state (where allowed) and federal level. It makes sense to know who will be handling payments and your customers’ information.
You do need to be aware that while you are able to run pre-employment screenings of job applicants, there are legal obligations on you the employer. According to the government website consumer.ftc.gov “Before getting the (background) report, the employer must tell you that they might use the information to make a decision related to your employment, and must ask for your written permission.” As an employer you must be sure to let candidates know you intend to run the background check and how you will use that information. A professional background check company will be familiar with government regulations on checks and can ensure you have the proper documentation you need to avoid legal issues.
In addition, the federal trade commission website goes on to warn its readers that, “If the employer thinks they might not hire, keep, or promote you because of something in the report, they must give you a copy of the report and a “Summary of Rights” that tells you how to contact the company that provided the report.” Additionally, should you as the employer decide not to hire someone based on financial information in a credit report, criminal history, or other public records you must notify the applicant “orally, in writing or electronically.” It is not a given that negative information can be enough to not hire an individual for a job. The website warns that, “Even if the employer treats you the same as everyone else, using background information still can be illegal discrimination…In legal terms, the policy or practice has a “disparate impact” and is not “job related and consistent with business necessity.”
Before you start worrying about whether you will be in compliance with laws, understand that a reputable pre-employment screening company will follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) rules. These professionals understand what documents and approvals must be given before conducting a check. They will act in accord with federal regulations, as well as state laws governing criminal background check information that may or may not be permissible to release to potential employers.
Hiring someone to work for you can be a tricky business. The wrong person can hurt your company image and reputation, or even be a danger to your staff and customers. Using a background check company allows you to be confident in the hiring choices you make. You can also be confident that your checks are legal and ethical.
Pre-employment screening is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.770.426.0547 and let’s talk.