What Employers Need to Know About Conducting Background Checks – Part 1

If you’re a U.S.-based employer, it’s likely that you routinely conduct background checks on your
prospective employees. According to a recent survey, at least 72% of all employers do so for
the purpose of protecting their companies. It’s an elective measure that you can use during the
hiring process or in the case of promoting or reassigning employees within your company, but
conducting an employee background check can do more than just offer you some peace of
mind. Sometimes, it can uncover serious red flags about a candidate that you wouldn’t have
caught otherwise.

Background checks conducted the right way can:

  • ensure workplace safety,
  • mitigate liability,
  • protect your company reputation,
  • determine the candidate’s professional eligibility, and
  • verify the candidate’s claims of experience and qualification.

But there’s a wrong way to investigate candidates, too, which can expose you to costly litigation
and fees. Understanding the federal laws and commissions that regulate the use of background
information for employment purposes will help you protect your organization from penalties
while allowing you to make informed, quality personnel decisions.

We will discuss employer and candidate rights in our next post.