A growing number of employers have begun to conduct ongoing background checks of their workers.
A pre-employment screening is, of course, routine. But now companies are running occasional or even continuous checks to protect themselves and their customers from workers who might be criminals.
Ongoing background checks are easier to do now because more police departments and court systems maintain digital records.
Manufacturers and retailers have begun to do this, along with employers in the healthcare and financial services industries.
A background check can be one of the most important tools in finding the best job candidates. (Apprentice Personnel has the highest level of background technology available today and does background checks as required by our many customers). Such a check may include information from multiple sources, including credit reports, employment verifications, and criminal record searches.
If you’re an employer considering moving in the direction of continuous checks we’d caution that erroneous information will show up in periodic checks. And a history of criminal behavior doesn’t always predict future bad behavior.
Don’t forget that the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires employee consent before you can run a background check.
Also, if an employer plans to discipline or fire a worker based on the findings, it must give the employee an opportunity to review the data for errors or explain any mitigating circumstances.
One more important thing to remember: many states have adopted some form of “ban-the-box” policies, barring private employers from asking about criminal records until later in the hiring process, in the hope that candidates will get a fair chance at a job.
About the Author
Lon is the former publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group.He has served in leadership roles at various newspapers in Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin. Lon received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and attended the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Earlier in his career, Lon spent several years as a sea captain and held a 100-ton Coast Guard license. Lon is a former rugby player, referee and administrator and now coaches under 13 year old kids. Lon has served on the boards of numerous community and business organizations including Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, Peak Venture Group, CS Quality of Life Indicators Business Index Committee, Junior Achievement and is a member of The Colorado Thirty Group. Lon was given the “Making the Pikes Peak region a better place to live work and play” award by the CS Chamber of Commerce, was the VFW Post 1’s business citizen of the year.