Background checks are a vital part of the hiring process. Whether you’re a prospective employee clearing the final hurdles that keep you from celebrating a new job or an HR professional vetting someone to clear them for employment, these screenings matter.
Today we hope to give both new employers seeking out helpful information about background checks and future employees a range of information about this critical measure to protect businesses. Read on to learn the most pressing answers to your background check questions.
Who Performs the Screening?
When a prospective employee near the end of the hiring process speaks to a hiring manager, they may be curious to learn who checks their background. Is there a person somewhere looking up the applicant’s information and calling each employer and educational institution to verify the resume information?
In reality, most businesses will use a screening service like Scout Logic. These third-party services have the resources to contact government entities for identity and employment verification, screen for criminal history, and more. The vetting requires an enormous amount of resources that the HR departments of small and medium-sized businesses don’t have.
Providing this screening isn’t just beneficial for businesses. It can help reassure prospective employees of both the safety of the business and one’s future coworkers.
What Are the Rights of Job Applicants Regarding Background Checks?
There are several rights a job applicant has in the context of vetting. Not only do applicants have to consent before a business can order a background check, but they also have the right to contest any adverse action based on the screening.
Prospective employers must be upfront with those they seek to hire. Early transparency can go a long way toward creating a culture of openness and honesty.
What Laws Are There for Background Checks?
The law that has the most impact on this method of vetting employees is the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This law, which first passed in 1970, goes a long way toward protecting both employers and employees by codifying the expected behavior of credit reporting agencies.
This law protects applicants from predatory behavior, which is essential given that credit reporting agencies can substantially influence one’s employment status and employability. An erroneous credit or background check can disrupt or even upend one’s life, so the FCRA seeks to protect consumers and job applicants from discriminatory behavior.
Does Having a Criminal History Prohibit Employment?
‘One of the biggest fears, especially for formerly incarcerated individuals, is that a criminal past will prevent employment. While this can certainly be true, it doesn’t always have to be, and indeed shouldn’t always be the case.
Many businesses and potential employers are willing to contextualize one’s past. Their understanding is more likely if someone who has done their time discloses said past willingly and transparently instead of waiting for a background check to reveal it.
Background checks are an essential mechanism that can help protect both employees and businesses. Understanding them is crucial for human resources professionals and prospective employees, and with this guide, you can go forth confidently, knowing your rights and protections.