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Evaluating your Background Screening

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

We all get busy with our day-to-day tasks, especially in Human Resources. It is a position where you cannot control what situations and issues arise from week-to-week and sometimes minute-to-minute. Setting aside time to evaluate your key processes are pertinent. Whether it be your annual review of wages, benefits or background screening, these processes play a critical role. Here are a few areas to consider when reviewing your background screening plan:

1) Position. What does the employee’s job entail? Do they have access to confidential or secure information (i.e.: social security information, credit cards, medical records, etc.)? Will they have access to a client’s or customer’s home/vehicle? Do they preform business in a company or personal vehicle? What are the minimum requirements for this position, and are we verifying this is met?

2) The environment of the position. Who will they be working around? Are they in a school or daycare setting? Will they be working around a population considered vulnerable?

3) Responsibilities of the position. Generally, if a position requires a greater level of responsibility you may require additional searches. Example, you may process specialized financial screenings for a CFO, bankruptcy/lien search. Or social media screening on a CEO, to verify they represent your organization and brand in a positive manner.

4) State, Federal or organizational mandates. Keep in mind depending on your type of business, additional requirements may be mandated. These mandates could be the minimum screening requirement not the only screening requirement.

5) Policy. Be sure to know and understand what your company’s policy states and be consistent.

Now that we have discussed a few areas to look at, let’s apply some context:

- My position requires staff to drive company vehicles. We require a safe driving record. You may look at an initial MVR check and annual rescreens to evaluate ongoing safety risks.

- My position requires staff to be around vulnerable elderly patients, this may include alone in their homes. You may look at an extensive criminal history and sex offender registry. Ongoing screening should be considered for staff around vulnerable persons.

- My position requires extensive knowledge in financial processes, and we require a minimum of 5 year’s accounting experience. You may verify employment and professional references.

- My position is in the healthcare field, we are only mandated to run a statewide search in our current state. Keep in mind your candidate may have lived outside of your state, or they may have just moved into your state. Mandates and requirements are very important, but review these and determine if there are areas that may be lacking and should be screened to minimize risk to your organization.

- My position requires a Masters in a Business-related degree. You may verify that the degree exists and is valid. It is common practice to accept copies of diplomas and transcripts for high school or GED level education, but best practice is to verify college level education with your background screening provider or ask for a certified-sealed copy of the transcript. Over my time in the background screening industry I’ve seen too many fake degrees to count.

- My position requires a Professional License and it to be in good standing. You may verify that the license exists and doesn’t have a derogatory history.

This article isn’t inclusive, but it’s a great tool to start your review. Be sure to include your background screening provider and your supervisors to gain insight and valuable perspectives into your company’s screening process and areas of concern.

Jolene Johnston

Vice President/Chief Operating Officer

Note: This article is intended to provide general information and should be not be interpreted as legal advice.



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