4 Common Background Check Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them Part 1

When screening candidates for employment, housing, or volunteer work, a background check will be your greatest asset in determining if the person will be an appropriate and beneficial fit for your organization. Beyond gut feelings and first impressions, a background check will give you data on which to make informed decisions as your narrow down your options, but it’s vital to be aware of the common pitfalls that can be made in the process so that you don’t also expose yourself to risk.

What NOT to Do When Doing a Background Check

  1. Fail to obtain written consent. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that you obtain written consent before running a background check. It must be apart from the employment application and clearly explain that the results of the check will be used to make a hiring decision and their rights to correct any inaccuracies that may result in an adverse decision.
  2. Fail to obtain all pertinent identifiers, including maiden names, middle initials, birth dates, etc. It is not an impossible occurrence to pull up someone else’s data, which can lead to a mountain of headaches for all involved.
  3. Fail to run targeted searches on all places of residence. A thorough background check will pull information on every place a candidate as lived, which is especially important when selecting for positions that deal with high-risk clientele, such as children, the elderly, and the disabled. Otherwise, concerning events occurring in one state will be missed entirely.
  4. Conducting searches outside the purview of the position in question. It’s important to conduct searches that are specific to the job in question in order to minimize complications with handling sensitive information. For example, if the position will not require driving, you don’t need to delve into their driving history.

Minimize risk and avoid these common errors as you conduct your background checks by contracting with qualified third party vendors. Contact VICTIG for more information.