It’s Time To Analyze Your Employee Background Screening Program

So you are ready to start your employee screening program?  Or you just need to revise your current one?  

Either way, remember it is important to always get your Corporate (Human Resources) Attorney involved, but here are a few areas of particular importance to review and think about when reviewing your individual employee background screening program.

  1. The position.
    What is the employee’s job description?  What will they be doing?  Does this position require an applicant to handle social security numbers, credit cards, have access to banking information or accounts, medical records, enter a person’s private home, etc.?  Do they drive either their personal and/or company vehicle?
  2. Demographic of their environment.  
    Who will the employee be working with and around?  Children? Elderly? Mentally Ill or Disabled?
  3. The seniority of the position.  
    Additional accountability may require additional screening.  Your CFO most likely will not have the same screening criteria as a Charge Nurse.
  4. Do you have any State and/or Federal mandates that dictate your screening foundation?  
    I say foundation because mandates can be a minimum expectation, not the only expectation.

Let me give you a few services to analyze!

  • Motor Vehicle Reports.  
    Do you have a single driver or a fleet?  Verify they have legal privileges to drive, and have a safe driving history.  Do you check this annually?
  • Sex Offender Registry.  
    Any employees working with a vulnerable population need to be screened, and rescreened.
  • References.  
    What does their character references say?  That they were a diligent employee or never showed up on time?
  • Employment Verifications.  
    Does the position require 3 years of experience?  Verify they have the experience and skills listed on their resume.
  • Education Verification.  
    Does the position require a degree or certification?  Do not solely trust a copy of the degree, even if they bring you the original.  Personally I cannot begin to count the number of “fakes” our verifications department has seen over the years.
  • Credit Reports.  
    Many states have restricted the use of credit reports.  Make sure to use these reports where and when legally allowed.
  • Criminal Records.  
    Are you using an instant product? Are you only checking their current address for criminal records?  What about 5 years ago?  What about State or Federal crime?
  • Professional License.  
    Does the position require a professional license?  Verify the license is valid and in good standing.

Let me leave you with some final thoughts.

  1. Have a written policy.  Why?  So your HR Team is consistent with both practices and decisions.
  2. Review your policy annually.  Adjust where necessary, we all know how quickly regulations can change.
  3. Do not handle this alone, you are not the legal expert (unless you really are a legal expert).
  4. Include managers outside of your department to understand their concerns and/or expectations of the screening criteria.
  5. Get your employee background screening company involved.  Address any of your concerns and/or wants.  Make sure there is not a disconnect of your company’s expectations.


Written By:  J. Chullen