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HomeTech NewsHow Criminal Background Checks Can Enhance Your Recruitment Process

How Criminal Background Checks Can Enhance Your Recruitment Process


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Background checks can help you hire employees that are fit for your company. They can also reveal unseen information about an applicant’s past that could make them unsuitable for a position.

Criminal background checks search various court records to report an applicant’s legal history. The specific records searched will depend on the role you are hiring and any industry or local laws regarding background checks.

Legal Requirements

Criminal background checks can reveal much information about a candidate, including convictions, pending charges, and dismissed cases. While a national criminal record search typically reports felony and misdemeanor convictions, it also can include information about arrests that didn’t result in a conviction or be disposed of by dismissal or a not guilty verdict. Employers who consider a candidate’s arrest record run the risk of rejecting candidates who are innocent of the crimes they are being screened for. This bias could potentially violate federal and state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

A criminal record check can also uncover civil court cases, such as small claims, restraining orders, and bankruptcies. These searches can also reveal social security number verifications and address information that could impact a candidate’s suitability for your company.

Employers who conduct criminal background checks should be aware of EEOC guidelines regarding employee screening and follow the strictest federal, state, and local regulations on employee background checks. A good screening provider will be able to help you comply with the law and ensure that all information uncovered is relevant to the job function.

Disclosing Information

Criminal background checks are essential to any comprehensive hiring process and should be done on all candidates for roles that could put staff or customers at risk. They include a criminal record check, searches of US terror watch lists, and sex offender registries, and can also involve the county. Federal civil court checks to see if an applicant has been involved in non-criminal suits, claims, and judgments such as tax liens and bankruptcies.

Recruiters must communicate the purpose of these checks to each candidate so that they clearly understand and can consent. Vague purposes for collecting personal information can lead to accusations of discrimination based on age, gender, religion, race, or nationality. This can result in legal penalties, so recruiters must know the rules when obtaining this sensitive data.

Keeping Your Company Safe

A criminal background check can help you prevent hiring people who could threaten your business. This is especially important for jobs that are safety-sensitive or involve working with children, and it might even be required by law for some positions. By screening out candidates with a disqualifying conviction on their record, you can protect your team and avoid potentially costly legal action.

Performing a criminal background check will also give you the information you need to ensure your company is run responsibly. Employee dishonesty and fraud can majorly impact a business, and small businesses are more likely to be victims of occupational fraud. By conducting a background check, you can ensure that your employees are not taking money from the company and risking your financial stability.

It is essential to remember that a criminal background check is only one component of the pre-employment screening process. You should always carry out a credit check, verify employment and education, and perform an identity check to ensure that the person you are interviewing is who they say they are. It’s also vital to screen according to the job function and not on a discriminatory basis (such as age or ethnicity). Lastly, it is important to explain the purpose of the background check before you collect any personal information from an applicant so that they are fully aware of what you intend to do with this data.

Keeping Your Candidates Safe

Employers have a duty of care to ensure that employees can work in an environment free from risk, and a background check can help filter out candidates with criminal records that could put the company’s customers or other employees at risk. A comprehensive screening process can help prevent serious crimes such as theft, fraud, violence, substance abuse, and dishonesty, which can significantly affect a business’s reputation, financial stability, and customer trust.

Criminal records checks can reveal felony and misdemeanor convictions, pending criminal cases, civil lawsuits with a court date within the last seven years (excluding expunged or sealed cases), prison records, domestic terror watch list information and county, state and federal criminal convictions. They can also show county, state, and federal arrests that did not result in a conviction. Other important information that can be gathered from an employment credit report includes small claims, restraining orders, tax liens and bankruptcies.

In addition, an employee background check can verify educational transcripts, professional licenses and certifications and uncover any past addresses where an applicant lived. However, these are typically more difficult to obtain and must be conducted with the candidate’s consent. Working with a third-party workforce solutions provider can simplify the process by allowing you to conduct all of these checks from within your ATS and filter results according to your screening policy.

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