10 Simple HR Mistakes That Could Cost You “Big-Time” in Court!

Hiring Managers often make errors that could be easily avoided during the hiring process.

As an employer relying on a third party screening vendor to run employee background checks on job candidates, following the rules and guidelines set by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is crucial to stay compliant and out of the courtroom.

Below are ten mistakes hiring managers need to avoid, but often make during the hiring process.

  1. Not getting a written authorization, from your applicant, for a background check.  Ie:  “Applicant John Doe told me I could run his background.”
  2. Not supplying your applicants appropriate Federal and State notices.
  3. Failing to “ban to box”, in states/jurisdictions where appropriate.  
  4. Using blanket policies.  Ie:  “We don’t hire felons.”  “Felon? No need apply.”
  5. Failing to screen. Ie:  “We know Suzie Que personally, so no need.”  For positions that your policy outlines screening criteria, always screen.   Be consistent and thorough.
  6. Inadequate screening.  Ie:  Strictly processing a criminal check, when the applicant’s prior employment history and references reveal the applicant having a history of inappropriate behavior towards coworkers and customers.
  7. Over screening.  Ie: Ordering a credit report for positions which legally do not necessitate a screen.   (Note: State laws currently limit many employers for the use of credit reports.)
  8. Failing to rescreen.  How are you maintaining a safe workplace?
  9. Not using an individualized assessment for an applicant’s criminal conviction(s).
  10. Adverse Action.  Usually, I get the blank stares here.  A screening report is returned and your HR team determines not to hire or promote an applicant due to the adverse information found.   The law requires you to apply Adverse Action, for employees/volunteers/contractors.  

As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your hiring process, consult your qualified counsel immediately.

Written by J. Chullen