Running employee background checks might seem like a chore, but it is an important step to take that will reveal vital facts about your potential employees. These checks are considered necessary for high-profile or governmental positions, but even small businesses should run these screenings to ensure that they are employing quality people who can help create a positive image for the company.
But when should these checks occur? We’ve narrowed down the three best times to run a background check – and they might not be when you think.
Background Screening After Extending an Offer
When hiring a new employee, it is crucial to ensure that this candidate will not only meet the qualifications of the position, but will also mesh with the work environment and not violate any specifics set forth by the contract he or she will be signing.
These questions can be answered by a background check. It should be performed after a formal offer has been extended, with that offer contingent on the employee passing the screening.
Should they fail the check, the employee can be given the opportunity to explain deficiencies or your hiring manager can move on to the next candidate. No matter the outcome, you will receive a glimpse into the potential of the employee, as well as identify any problems or issues that may arise in the future.
Beyond the initial background screening, it is important to run work eligibility verifications to ensure that your new employee can work in the United States. It is also smart to check for any hiring tax credits and any previous worker’s compensation claims.
Background Checks After Joining a New Team
When a manager is hired into a new company, he or she often inherits the benefits and problems that were left behind by the previous person in charge. While this can be an exciting situation, it is best to ensure that you are working with a group that is reputable and receptive to any changes that may come.
A criminal background check should be performed or updated, and a credit check and a social media check can round out the picture of your new team. These screenings can help determine which employees can be trusted with sensitive information, company credit cards, or access to the budget.
Screening After Time Has Passed
Even if an employee passed a background screening upon being hired, there is no guarantee that he or she has continued to uphold the ethical guidelines outlined in the contract that he or she signed. This is why it is a good idea to update background checks on employees annually, and especially if the employee is up for a promotion.
A new background check can bring to light any crimes that have been committed during the time the employee has worked for the company, and may also show crimes that were committed previously but not filed at the time of hire.
These newly discovered issues might be minor, such as a parking ticket. However, if a day care worker’s name is found on the sex offender’s list or a commercial driver has received a ticket for an accident, these can be grievous offenses that can negatively impact the safety and reputation of the business.
Also, if your company is trying to win a contract with a Fortune 100 company, these brands have specific standards for their potential partners. This can range anywhere from where your products are made to how often your employees are screened and given drug tests.
Before You Background Screen
When running these background checks, always notify your employees that you are performing these screenings. Ask that the employees sign a release form to ensure that you are legally compliant in running the checks, and review your screening policies to ensure compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and any applicable state or local laws.
Also, it is a good idea to use a reputable background screening company to perform these checks. A third-party company can provide quality information and expertise, and is impartial when looking into employees, giving you the most accurate picture of your employee and helping protect you from legal consequences.