Pre-Employment Screening: Three avoidable pitfalls

Posted on Nov 25, 2013

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Last week, I tweeted about an article written written by Philip Gordon at the law firm Littler Mendelson. Gordon provides a useful US state survey of the changing legal landscape as it relates to requiring job applicants to disclose criminal histories on their applications.  The article also makes a compelling case for robust (and compliant) pre-employment background checks.

Common Mistakes to Avoid.

If your organization is shifting away from applicant self-disclosure to background screening, there are several best practices you want to incorporate into your processes.

  1. Ensure that your vendor is compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA): You can’t use just any online database or website to conduct pre-employment background checks. In order to avoid potential liabilities related to the hiring decision, use only FCRA-compliant tools.
  2. Know which jurisdictions and case types are available: Not all courts are available online. And, not all criminal case types may be available even for courts that are online.
  3. Understand how your search engine of choice works: Court records may be incomplete or fraught with typographical errors. It’s not uncommon to see error rates of 30% or more. How do your research tools handled aliases, spelling errors, or incomplete information (such as missing addresses or dates of birth)?

Unfortunately,workplace violence and corporate fraud are all too common. An inaccurate or incomplete background check can be more dangerous than none at all. Simple, but essential, best practices can help reduce your liability risk.

We’re here to help.

Plan. Think. Act.

Center Square can help you develop processes that lower your risk through pre-employment background checks. Contact us to find out how.

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Pre-Employment Screening: Three avoidable pitfalls

by Scott A Livingston time to read: 1 min