Hiring Done Right: Include Factual Data in the Process

Job ApplicationOnboarding new employees is a risk for many businesses. While on the hunt for candidates, they’re likely churning through applications looking for candidates who have the qualifications and background needed to excel at the job. But as many a manager has come to find out, sometimes those qualifications aren’t the only thing that matters.  Personality and ethics should all play a role in the final decision process if you want to bring on a new hire that’s going to work out in the long run for the company.

Pre-Employment Screening for Accuracy

But how do you know that people are being honest and truthful in their paperwork and when they meet with you? That can be the tricky part. Thankfully, pre-employment screening technologies exist that can ensure applicants are who they say are and don’t have any “issues” they’ve neglected to tell you about that could affect their employment eligibility.

Background checks can be used today to do so much more than tell a potential employer if an employee has committed any serious crimes or has substance abuse issues. It can also verify that they attended and completed schooling, or check credit reports. Likewise, it can keep businesses in complaint and meeting hiring standards to avoid fines and other legal issues.

Reduce Business Risk

The worst thing you can do for your business is bring on an applicant that won’t stick around, or worse is dishonest and could put the company at risk. The only way to protect your business from this is to have pre-screening processes set-up and standards that must be met for all job hiring you do.

Having factual data and statistics on potential hires is also a great way to make informed decisions for the good of the company. Looking beyond background information and drilling down the stats to see who is best suited for long term roles versus who might move around a lot in their career could be vital information. Why should you go without that knowledge?

DataCheck offers everything you need to get reliable, accurate information when hiring new staff members. As a full-service pre-employment background screening company we provide everything from DMV history to past employment verification, drug screening and more. Get a free quote.

What Information Can Be Obtained in a Background Check?

background checkEmployers often conduct background checks to obtain information on job applicants. The background checks can include several types of information, but laws do place some restrictions on what data can be collected and used in decisions.

An employer needs to obtain an applicant’s written consent to check a credit report and to hire an outside agency to conduct a background check. Written consent may also be required to obtain school transcripts and records of military service. Employers can gather some information on their own, but they usually request authorization before conducting any type of background check to avoid allegations of privacy violations and to allow candidates to opt out if there is information they do not want disclosed.

An applicant can refuse to consent to a background check. However, if an employer has a legal right to obtain the information requested, the company can refuse to consider an individual as a candidate for the job.

Federal law allows an employer to obtain a copy of an applicant’s credit report with consent. An employer has to tell an applicant if he or she was not hired because of information in the credit report. Some states have passed laws limiting how employers can use information in credit reports.

An employer can find out if an applicant declared bankruptcy from a credit report or a search of public records. An employer can decide not to hire someone who has filed for bankruptcy in the past but cannot fire a current employee for filing for bankruptcy.

Educational records, including recommendations, financial information, and transcripts, are generally confidential. Most schools will not release information without a student’s consent, except to verify when a degree was awarded.

Most states allow an employer to require a candidate to take a drug test prior to employment. An applicant can refuse but can be denied the job.

Federal law prohibits arrests older than seven years from being included in a consumer report, unless the position has a salary over $75,000 per year. There is no limit on how long conviction records can be included in a consumer report. An employer must notify an applicant if the decision not to offer employment was based on information in a consumer report.

Many states have laws about how information on criminal history can be used in employment decisions. Some states do not allow employers to ask about arrests that did not lead to convictions. Some states only allow employers to ask about convictions that occurred in a specific time frame or that are relevant to the job. Many states prohibit employers from asking about records that were sealed or expunged. Some states only allow employers to consider criminal history for sensitive positions.

Military service records can only be released under limited circumstances and with a service member’s consent. The military can disclose a person’s name, rank, salary, duty assignment, awards, and duty status without the individual’s consent.

Some employers interview people who know an applicant personally to obtain additional information about the person’s character, activities, and past drug use. This is legal in some cases, such as when a security clearance is needed, but it can violate an applicant’s privacy rights if the background check is too intrusive to be reasonable for the position for which the individual is applying.

An applicant who believes an employer has violated his or her privacy rights can take the case to court. The court will consider the applicant’s reasonable expectations of privacy and the employer’s reasons for seeking information and will decide whether the employer crossed a line.

Researching School Board Background Checks

Have you ever been convicted of a crime

Here is a glimpse into how schools and background checks are often connected.

Earlier this month, a city council committee announced a plan to do more research on whether to begin requiring background checks for school board members. Such background checks are part of business in many school districts in around the country.

Now the topic is being discussed in Asheville, North Carolina. One of the main questions that will need to be answered is who would be responsible for doing these background checks: The city schools or the city itself.

According to one local newspaper, members of the Asheville City Council’s Board and Commission committee have already discussed the issue during one recent board meeting. The Asheville City Board of Education is a board where members are appointed, not elected. The Asheville City Council selects the members who serve on the board.

However, school employees and volunteers undergo background checks. Currently, school board members are not subject to background checks.

School board members receive a stipend, leaving some members to wonder why all board members are not required to undergo background checks.

Data Check understands the importance of background checks, on all levels. Data Check helps employers get a handle on the employee screening process by giving employers the comfort of thorough and reliable background checks.

Possible Background Checks for Volunteer Coaches

coach background check

Background checks are not just used as part of the process of screening potential paid employees. Background checks can be used for screening possible volunteers as well.

In Hanover, Virginia, county school board members are debating background checks after one board member suggested that volunteer coaches at county schools undergo full background checks.

Currently, volunteer coaches are checked against the Virginia Sex Offender Registry during the application process. However, they do not undergo a full background check, according to school officials. Will that soon change? It’s possible such background checks will soon be mandatory.

As of now, there are around 400 paid coaches in the county’s middle schools and high schools. There about 40 volunteer coaches in those schools. Those volunteer coaches do not have to go through the same criminal background checks as the paid coaches. Some school officials say it’s time for that to change, saying many of the volunteer coaches do some of the same thing as paid coaches and have the same access to students.

The question of whether to submit volunteers to background checks came up after a recent review of salaries and policies for coaches.

One local news report says a fingerprint check would be part of the criminal background check process. The fingerprinting process would cost $37 per person. Officials also pointed out that individuals applying for paid positions undergo background checks. Some school officials say they would not be comfortable making volunteer coaches undergo the same scrutiny.

The Hanover County School Board met last week but has not yet reached a firm decision.

This shows the importance of the background screening process. A thorough background checks can protect against negligent hiring lawsuits and provide a safer work environment for everyone involved. An incorrect hiring can mean lost revenue and a damaging decrease in productivity.

More Background Check Legislation

teacher background checks

It looks like change is coming regarding background checks in one state. This time, we’re looking at the state of Pennsylvania, where teachers and other school employees will likely undergo more rigorous background checks.

This is all because of recent approved legislation that has gone to the Pennsylvania governor’s office. Earlier this month, Pennsylvania House lawmakers voted unanimously in favor of a bill that would require schools and any contractors conduct complete background checks before offering jobs to anyone who has contact with students.

There are many components of the bill. School districts are not allowed to hide information on suspected abuse or misconduct. Doing so could result in civil penalties for providing false information.

There’s more. School districts would not be able to agree to expunge or suppress information about an investigation into abuse or sexual misconduct.

There’s another key component to this bill: It would bar schools from transferring “problem teachers” from one school district to another school district. The governor says he will likely sign the bill.

There are numerous reasons for background checks. We know that background checks and pre-employment screening are vital parts of the hiring process. This helps employers obtain important knowledge about a potential employee. From a legal standpoint, a proper and thorough background check can prevent a negligent hiring lawsuit.

The right background check can also increase the chances of a safe working environment. Or a safe teaching environment, as we are seeing in Pennsylvania.

School administrators and human resources managers should be aware of a potential employee’s employment history and know if there is any criminal background history.

A complete, thorough background check will also give an employer confidence that the potential employee has not represented any facts. This allows for a healthier work environment and, hopefully, a healthier teaching environment.