employment background screening, fcra, eeoc, best practices, CRA, consumer reporting agency

Best Practices in Background Screening, Part III: Evaluation

Our best practices in employment background screening series continues with 5 important things to consider when evaluating a candidate’s returned criminal screen.

In Part I of this series, we discussed best practices for hiring managers and HR personnel in background screening.  We also discussed “ban the box,” and how it relates to current trends in background screening.  Then, in Part II, we learned how to choose the right consumer reporting agent (CRA) for your business

  • Be sure they follow the essential duties of all background screeners
  • Investigate the CRA’s track record before signing on
  • Compliance is not theoretical. Litigation is sure to follow a company that uses a CRA that does not pay detailed attention to matters of compliance.

It would be easy for a CRA to dump all of the information received for an applicant on the employer’s lap and let them interpret it as they will.  A trusted CRA, though, will do that work for the employer, eliminating the need for the employer to lose valuable time sifting through information that may or may not actually pertain to the candidate.  The following practices help differentiate a good CRA from a great CRA:

  • Uses identifiers beyond only the candidate’s first and last name. There are more than 300 million people in the United States alone – it is a fairly safe bet that many share the same name.  Your CRA should only return information on a candidate’s convictions when both the full name (including the middle name when it is available) AND another identifier such as date of birth or social security number are matched.
  • Knows that online databases may not be completely up-to-date or accurate. Your background screening partner should always confirm online information with the original source.
  • Fully updates any information sent to the employer. The conviction, disposition, and sentencing information, no matter from which source it was obtained, should be verified for accuracy.
  • Supplies a dispute method for candidates with adverse information on the CRA’s report of her criminal history. It is required by the FCRA; however, even if it were not, it is simply a good practice to give applicants an easy and prompt way to challenge any detrimental information in the report.
  • Groups all charges that relate back to a single incident on the candidate’s report. Otherwise, the impression may mistakenly be given that there were multiple incidents in the applicant’s criminal history.

Join us as we wrap up this series with Part IV: Making the Decision, when we will discuss best practices for hiring managers and HR personnel when making hiring selections.

At The Cedalius Group, the employment background screener you can trust, we are dedicated to ensuring that our clients have the best, most comprehensive information available to them when making their hiring decisions.  We are fully versed in the FCRA rules and regulations, and we strive to not only comply, but go above and beyond in our efforts to give employers all the information they need to build the staff that will propel them to success.  Call us today at 404.963.9862 or contact us online to get started!

The Cedalius Group offers insight into the background screening industry for educational purposes.  We always recommend you consult with your legal counsel to determine practices that best suit your business needs.