EMPLOYMENT BACKGROUND CHECKS
Employment screening questions fall into two categories.
The first type are employment screening questions that are intended to help determine the suitability of an applicant in terms of experience, attitude and temperament.
The other type are employment screening questions concern the employment screening background check process and would seek to address questions such as:
1. Q. What is the cost of an employment screening background check?
A. A quality employment screening background check suitable for most employment can be had for $50 or less. This would include a criminal record check of state, county and Federal criminal records in the states in which the applicant has lived.
2. Q. Do we really need to conduct an employment screening background check?
A. The real question might be can I afford not to?
After all, for less than the cost of an ink cartridge, an employer can determine some critical information on the background of an employee that could prove to be critical to the safety of other employees and vital to the business in terms of liability for claims, theft, and other preventable losses.
Proof of a good employment background check may be an employer’s only defense in the event of a negligent hiring lawsuit should an employee harm a fellow employee or a member of the public.
3. Q. How long does an employment screening criminal background check take?
A. The top employment screening companies can complete a good criminal record background check usually within two or three days.
4. Q. What are the main components of an employment screening background check?
A. The primary components of the employment screening process are a social security number address history trace, a national (multi-state) criminal records check, a check of the sex offender registry in all 50 states, a check of the Federal watch lists, an employment credit check, past employment verification and credential verifications such as education and professional licensing.
Recent legislation introduced in 2017 indicates more emphasis on the the E-Verify program. This may become a standard part of the employment screening process or all employers and applicants.
5. Q. What else might be involved in the pre-employment screening process?
A. Employers also may look at driving records as part of the pre employment screening process for certain jobs. Some employers think a driving history provides significant insight into the overall stability and adherence to self discipline of an applicant.
6. Q. Is drug screening part of the pre-employment screening process?
A. Yes. Most companies require an applicant to pass a pre employment drug screening as a condition of employment.
6. What if an applicant has filed Bankruptcy?
A. While These records are public, employers cannot hold a bankruptcy against an employee or applicant.
7. Q. What laws govern the employment screening background check process?
A. Employers must comply with many Federal, State, County and some city laws that govern the employment screening process.
The FCRA imposes many of these regulations and monitors many of these laws, but new laws such as the “Ban-The-Box” laws also apply in many situations. See our page on “Background checks: What every employer needs to know” by clicking here.
8. Q. What are the guidelines on hiring applicants with criminal records?
A. There are no rules that apply to every situation. Most employers consider the following three things about an applicant’s criminal record.
(a)What was the nature of the offense?
For example, possession of a small amount of marijuana may be overlooked by many employers while sexual assault records are usually looked at with great concern.
(b)How long ago was the offense?
Criminal records no more recent than 7 years old may be a good indicator of an applicant’s desire for a stable life and lessons learned.
For more information on this subject, see our page on “How long after an arrest is it safe to hire someone? by clicking here
(c) Was the applicant truthful on the employment application or interview?
Many employers give great weight to an applicant’s honesty and the explanation provided by the applicant.
A sanitized version claimed by the applicant is not nearly as useful as a detailed explanation of the arrest along with court records substantiating the applicant’s version of events.
For more information on ban the box laws, please see the pages in our web site which deal with this issue by