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How to Make Your Background Checks More Effective

By: Jim Addison

 

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You probably know that background screenings are imperative when it comes to hiring new employees and, for many businesses, when retaining employees. If you are doing the smart thing you are using a background screening company to make sure that your employees are who they say they are. This is certainly considered best practice and something that you should be doing with each new employee. However, there are ways to make these background checks even more effective than you ever thought possible without adding extra cost and stress to your day.

 
Make Sure Your Background Screening Company is Giving You Just What You Need
 
One of the main things you can do to ensure that you are getting the most out of your background checks is to make sure you’re getting just the information you need to make an informed decision. One way to find out is to compare what you get from your current background screening company with what others are offering. Because these companies come in all different sizes and offer different services, it can be well worth your time to see what else is out there. You don’t want to pay more for information that you don’t really need! For example, there is no reason to pay a company money to run a DMV search if your employee is not driving a company vehicle. Since so many background screening companies offer packages, make sure you are only using the services you need to save money.
 
Understand What the Fair Credit Reporting Act Means for Your Business
 
Another thing to understand is how the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) affects your business. The FCRA was introduced in order to fully protect the personal information of applicants who are applying for work. No matter what, because of this regulation, you are required by law to get signed permission from your candidates and employees to do background checks on them. On top of that, you must tell the employee what background check screening company you are using. There are other clauses as well, so learn this law carefully. You will also find that some types of searches, like credit checks, may even be limited by laws in your state.
 
Consider Supplementing Your Search
 
Finally, you may want to supplement the information you get from a background screening provider with an internet search that you do on your own. Information that you get on the internet, including on social network pages, is free and public, so you can access it. However, there is an ongoing debate about employers accessing employee information online. At this time, do not ask for passwords to see what is on a candidate’s page. There are several court cases going through that challenge this practice. However, if they don’t want people to see it, they shouldn’t put it on a public forum. Though a hiring decision shouldn’t be based solely on this information it won’t hurt to look if an employee’s behavior reflects badly on the company.
 
Published: July 15, 2013
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Jim Addison

Jim Addison has been in the ever-changing background check industry more years than he cares to count. Currently, he lives in Denver with his wife Catherine and three boys. He adores hiking in the Rockies, letterboxing, and craft beer.

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