2022Human Resources

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Attorney Lester Rosen, the founder of Employment Screening Resources (ESR) and the author of “The Safe Hiring Manual,” has shared his many years of experience in background screening in an article about “Ten Things Employers Should Know about Pre-employment Background Checks — A Crucial Part of the Hiring Process.” 

“Successful companies know that they are only as good as their people and that requires identifying and hiring the right people. However, hiring someone that is unqualified, dishonest, unfit, or even dangerous can create a legal and financial nightmare,” Rosen wrote in the article published on the Enterprise Viewpoint website.

Rosen said a background check provides employers with facts and information about the applicant so hiring decisions are not just based on instinct or what an applicant tells them. In addition, a background check encourages honesty. Here are ten key things Rosen said employers should know about a background check:

  1. A background check is done on a finalist either as part of a job offer or, in some states, after a job offer and should take approximately three to four days. 
  2. Under a federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the applicant must first consent to the background check and be given a stand-alone disclosure form about the process. 
  3. A background check is performed by a background screening company, known as a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) under federal law.
  4. A screening firm generally performs two types of inquiries. First, a screening firm will verify the information supplied by the applicant such as past education, employment, or professional licenses. Second, a screening firm will obtain public records, such as criminal or driving records. 
  5. The background check is usually initiated in one of two ways. If an employer uses an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), it may be integrated with a screening firm so that an electronic notice is automatically sent to a finalist. In the alternative, an employer can generate an electronic message to an applicant.
  6. If a background check report has any information that causes an employer to not hire an applicant, that applicant is entitled to a process called “Adverse Action.” 
  7. The use of criminal records in hiring is highly regulated. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has made it clear that the use of criminal records to automatically not hire a former offender can be a form of discrimination.
  8. There are numerous state and local “Ban the Box” laws that prohibit employers from asking applicants if they have a criminal record too early in the hiring process before they can demonstrate their qualifications to perform the job.
  9. Background screening is heavily regulated by legislation, litigation, and regulation. It is important to select a screening firm that understands these complexities. 
  10. There are numerous screening firms in the United States. One way to select a screening partner is to make sure the firm is accredited by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA), a non-profit organization representing the background screening industry.

“Employers can utilize a variety of tools, solutions, and techniques to attract, recruit, and hire outstanding employees. However, after going through the hiring process, there is one more step most employers take – obtaining a background check to make sure there is no reason NOT to hire that person,” Rosen explained.

Rosen is a consultant, expert witness, and frequent presenter nationwide on safe hiring issues. He was the chairperson of the steering committee that founded the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) and served as the first co-chairman in 2004. He received the PBSA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.

Founded by Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a service offering of ClearStar, a leading provider of Human Capital Integrity℠ technology-based services – offers background check solutions that help employers make informed hiring decisions. To learn more, contact ESR today.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a service offering of ClearStar – 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.

© 2022 Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – A Service Offering of ClearStar – Making copies of or using any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.

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