Wood Words

Vetting Job Candidates? Stay Compliant, While Getting the Information You Need

Hiring in Middle Tennessee?

Then you know how valuable background checks can be in protecting your business:

  • reducing bad hires and resultant turnover costs;
  • reducing expenses caused by frequent absenteeism, employee theft, employee fraud and litigation;
  • reducing risks associated with employee drug and alcohol abuse;
  • improving safety in the workplace…

But along with these benefits come substantial compliance risks. What’s the best way to stay legal – and still hire smart? Here are some of the key “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to employee background checks:

Do: Train your staff about the legal requirements of thorough, compliant background checks. Teach them what they are permitted to do, as well as illegal actions to avoid. Most importantly, make sure staff keep all background checks confidential.

Don’t: Blindly trust online background check services. The information they provide may not be relevant to your hiring decision. Have staff perform background checks themselves, or rely on a qualified recruiting and staffing partner like Wood Personnel.

Do: Create and follow a written policy for background checks. A consistent policy helps reduce the chances that a claim of discrimination will “stick,” especially if the policy complies with the law. When creating your policy, fulfill these three basic requirements: put it in writing; use objective criteria; and apply it to every candidate in the same way.

Don’t: Create a policy that excludes all applicants with criminal backgrounds, regardless of what’s on their record. Ignore arrest histories and sealed or expunged records; digging into those records could be interpreted as an attempt to discriminate against a candidate.

Do: Conduct separate checks, putting each applicant through your procedures individually.

Don’t: Ask candidates about information you discover that isn’t relevant to the job to which they are applying.

Do: Consider the essential functions of the job when conducting criminal background checks, as well as the candidate’s character and employment references.

Don’t: Share information about an applicant’s or employee’s criminal background, unless you are required to do so by state or federal law.

Do: Hire experts for background checks. One way to effectively minimize your company’s risks and increase applicant quality is by hiring a staffing service to manage all or part of your screening process. As experts in pre-employment screening, a qualified staffing partner can:

  1. reduce time and headaches associated with background checks;
  2. ensure nondiscriminatory hiring practices are followed;
  3. conduct additional pre-employment screening, such as skills testing and drug screens, to increase hiring success.

Stay compliant – and staff your business smarter – with Wood Personnel

As our temporary and contract employees’ employer of record, our Murfreesboro staffing firm assumes all employment-related risks. Furthermore, every candidate we refer – for assignment, project or direct hire – is thoroughly screened and authorized to work for your organization. To learn more about our screening services and processes, contact our Middle TN staffing agency today.