An Employers Guide to Background Checks

Background Check 101

As an employer, you want to ensure a safe hire every time to protect your company’s reputation and workplace safety. Employees are often screened during the hiring process with a background check according to the company’s policy. Depending on the employer and the industry, background checks can vary greatly. Here is an in-depth guide to background checks, establishing what they are, how to use them, and how employers can benefit from them when conducted properly.

What is a Background Check?

A background check further investigates an individual to help employers get a better understanding of the person they are hiring. Background checks are commonly used, but aren’t a standard practice across many industries, which could lead to costly mistakes in the future. Although employers can customize their background check policies, depending on the industry or state laws, they have to abide by certain practices to maintain compliance. Building a background check policy is important for a safe working environment and employers need to ensure that their policies are sufficient for each position at their company.

How Do I Conduct a Background Check?

If you don’t already have a background check policy in place, it may be confusing as to where to begin. Every employer should know their state laws, as well as industry standards to ensure that their policy covers all that is required for the job position at hand. Some companies will even have different policies for different positions.

When conducting a background check, whether for pre-employment or other purposes, it’s mandatory that employers follow the rules set forth by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

  • Permissible Purpose: An approved reason under the FCRA to conduct a background investigation (i.e., credit, employment, tenant screening, insurance, government license, child support enforcement or court order)
  • Provide a disclosure in a clear and conspicuous written document
  • Obtain written authorization (in a standalone document) from the candidate to perform a background check
  • Follow the adverse action process before denying employment based upon information provided in the background report

What are the Benefits of Using Background Checks?

Reduced Costs

A hire that doesn’t work out will result in increased turnover rates which will in turn increase costs associated with a new hire, such as employee training, recruiting and hiring, wages, and benefits. If not careful, hiring a dishonest employee, such as one with a criminal history that could’ve been flagged on a thorough background check, could result in:

  • Higher insurance premiums
  • Employee turnover
  • Increase in accidents and/or theft
  • Absenteeism
  • Increase in workers compensation claims
  • Decreased employee productivit
  • Reduced Turnover

A pre-employment background check will help verify if the hire is right for the job and a good fit for the workplace. By reducing turnover rates you’re not only lowering costs but improving the workplace morale with a long-term team member and someone that will work well with other employees.

Accurate Information

Most employers are unaware of the differences in background checks. Comprehensive background checks provide much more reliable and accurate information than instant background checks. When running a comprehensive background check, a CRA will use industry best practices to verify information is accurate and up-to-date at the best source to ensure compliance with FCRA requirements.

Enhanced Workplace Safety

Whether you’re screening a new hire or following up with your current employees, background checks will ensure that those who are working for you maintain safety standards, promoting a safer working environment.

Higher Quality

When implementing background checks as a standard procedure for your company, you’ll most likely see an improvement in the quality of applicants. Those who might fail a background check are often deterred from applying for the position if they know they will have to submit to a background check.

Types of Background Check Products

Background check products can range from common searches to industry-specific searches. Additionally, you can customize your policy to fit the needs of your company.

Common background check services include:

  • Criminal Searches
  • SSN Validity Checks
  • Employment Verification
  • Education Verification
  • Personal Reference Verification
  • State Driving Records
  • Government Sanctions Lists
  • Sex Offender Searches

Industry-specific products include:

  • Professional Licenses and Credentials
  • Credit Reports
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) Testing History
  • Civil Searches

How DISA Can Help

DISA’s background check services include a number of PBSA, formerly NAPBS, FCRA certified professionals who will help ensure that your hiring practices meet your industry needs. Our background check products can be grouped together to create a custom package, or they can be ordered on an as-you-need basis. It’s vital that employers understand their needs and build a background check policy that meets the requirements of their industry to maintain compliance and avoid fines and penalties. DISA’s team of professionals are trained to assist you in building a package that will help to further protect both your company and employees. For more information on building your custom background check program contact 281-673-2530.

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About DISA Global Solutions

Founded in 1986, DISA is the industry-leading provider of employee screening and compliance services. Headquartered in Houston, with more than 35 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada, DISA’s comprehensive scope of services includes drug and alcohol testing, background check, occupational health, and transportation compliance. DISA assists employers in making informed staffing decisions while building a culture of safety in their workplace.

DISA Global Solutions aims to provide accurate and informative content for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The reader retains full responsibility for the use of the information contained herein. Always consult with a professional or legal expert.