As an employer, you may have heard scary stories about companies making costly mistakes when it comes to their employees and background checks. You have to be extremely careful during the hiring process and keep all of the rules and guidelines in mind. It’s not worth the risk to make mistakes like Uber or this management company. So what can you do to avoid making critical errors while ensuring you’re making the right employment decisions for your business? Using screening services like a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) is a great place to start.

Background checks involve numerous steps in order to verify an applicant’s qualifications and identity. Anyone conducting a background check must also know all of the guidelines and policies involved so as to not discriminate or violate an individual’s privacy. And CRAs like JD Palatine know the background check policies best. Here are a few things you can do to get the best results from a background check:

1. Don’t Just Do A Google Search: Simply searching for an applicant is not an adequate form of verification. You won’t be able to find a candidate’s driving records online and you may make an even more expensive mistake by finding too much information. In some cases, the information available online is outdated and you’re not allowed to take it into consideration when making employment decisions.

2. Know The Rules: Companies are often unaware or forget to get permission from an applicant before using a screening service. You should also be aware of the policies regarding adverse action in case you decide not to hire someone based on the results of their background check.

3. Get The Timing Right: Timing is essential if you want to get the best results. To avoid jumping to conclusions about a candidate, do the background check as the last step after completing the interview. If something unsavory turns up on the report, you can allow the candidate to explain, which makes you seem like a fair, unbiased business and a great place to work. But you shouldn’t wait until after hiring someone to conduct the screening check. At this point, it may be too late to remedy a mistake.

4. Know What To Look For: There are several different types of background checks. You should only screen for information for the ones related to the position and the industry. While some industries such as child care require almost all the types, others only require a few.

  • Criminal Records Checks
  • Employment History Verification
  • Education Verification
  • Credit Reports
  • Driving Records
  • Military Service
  • Earned Credentials and Licenses
  • Sex Offender Lists
  • Drug Test Records

5. Criminal Record Checks: Criminal records exist beyond the national level. Depending on the job, you should also consider searching local and state records as well as the national database.

The EEOC is always changing background check policies to meet the needs of an unpredictable job market. This makes it difficult for employers to keep up with the new requirements such as the ‘Ban-the-Box’ legislation. Background screening checks shouldn’t be the only consideration for hiring decisions but they should definitely play a part in the process. Working with a CRA can help you ensure your company is meeting the legal requirements during the background check process – and can also be a simple, efficient way to learn more about your potential new hires.