Due Diligence

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Experts agree employers need background screening providers that are accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) and able to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), according to an article from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The NAPBS – a non-profit trade association representing the background screening industry – offers a Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) to recognize background screening firms that show a commitment to achieving excellence through high professional standards with accountability.

Enacted by Congress in 1970, the FCRA 15 U.S.C. § 1681 promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in the files of consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) and also protects consumers from the willful and/or negligent inclusion of inaccurate information in consumer reports.

One background screening expert interviewed by SHRM for the article entitled “Stakes Are High When Choosing Background Screening Providers” was safe hiring expert Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of global background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR).

Rosen agreed that data security was a growing issue for applicants and employers with background screening. “In the last year we’ve seen a significant increase in candidates expressing concern about how the data collected during background checks is stored and protected,” explained Rosen.

Rosen – author of “The Safe Hiring Manual” – added that ensuring background screening vendors have NAPBS accreditation and a systems audit can verify data security. He also said complying with the FCRA that governs background checks is just one regulatory challenge faced by organizations when screening.

Employers must also deal with bans on requests for salary history information, restrictions on the use of credit reports, the risks associated with the social media screening of applicants, and “Ban the Box” laws that bar employers from asking job applicants whether they have a criminal record on job applications.

The applicant generated background report is another trend, but employers should “understand that this kind of applicant report is for introduction only” and “should subject everyone to the company’s own process to ensure all applicants are screened using the same standards,” Rosen said.

Rosen has been interviewed by SHRM in the past for articles about why a background check of an office shooter did not reveal a past conviction, why screening firms need to ensure information security, and why employers should be careful with the social media screening of job applicants.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider – is accredited by the NAPBS and undergoes annual SSAE 18 SOC 2® Type 2 audits to ensure data security. To learn more, visit www.esrcheck.com/Why-ESR/NAPBS-Accreditation/ and www.esrcheck.com/Why-ESR/SOC-2/.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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