Happy New Year! Now, Let’s Review All Our Policies.

[Phone rings]
Ann: “Cutting Edge, this is Ann.”
Customer: “What do you recommend we do to update our corporate background check policy for 2019?”
Ann: Flushes with pride “You’re asking me?”
Customer: “Yeah, it’s slow around here. Everyone’s out for the holidays. You always answer the phone”
Organizations that wish to keep their employees and customers safe, and avoid negligent hiring claims, implement background checks.

A background check policy is helpful to set guidelines for investigating applicant backgrounds and triggers for re-running background screenings on current employees.

What should be included?
Background check policies are created for consistency and ease during the hiring process. Your background screening firm probably has come models already in place for you to discuss when determining what best meets your needs. You should also consider:

  • Other than what’s included in a basic background check, what other screens are typically run for this particular job?
  • At what point in the hiring process is the background check run?
  • What information and paperwork are required before running a background check?
  • What criteria disqualifies an applicant from working for the organization? Are the criteria discriminatory or does it follow federal, state and local laws?
  • Has the applicant been informed that there will be a background check and that the outcome may affect the hiring decision? If the outcome of the screening is negative, what is the procedure for adverse action?

Clues your policy is outdated:

  • Your application asks if the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime, and you live in an area that has banned that question (it may be known as the Fair Chance Initiative, or Second Chance Initiative in your area—commonly known as Ban the Box).
  • Have you taken into consideration revised marijuana laws (recreational and medicinal use) in your region?
  • Any time you have a perfect applicant, but an outdated personnel policy prohibits you from hiring them.

Stay compliant and up-to-date, participate in meetings with your local human resource association, talk to your professional background screeners and attorneys. Check out that policy and be sure it does everything you think it does!