Reassessing the Background Screening Program

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Evaluating your background check program

So… it’s been a couple years since you set up the policies and guidelines of your employment screening program. Things are working well, you think, and then one day you find out that your office in Rochester has been skipping the criminal check for well over a year. You uncovered this fact after getting a call to investigate an individual with, to your surprise, a hat trick of violent incidents on their rap-sheet.

Or in a modified scenario, the Rochester office was doing criminal checks, but this individual committed the crimes in a region outside his home area, so the record did not appear on the background report. To summarize both scenarios, either your employment screening program wasn’t being practiced or it was being practiced, but fell short on reach. Needless to say, your background screening program may be due for a reassessment.

Once your background screening program is established, whether it has been a month or four years, it is important to review it to ascertain vulnerabilities. Are there areas of complexity or slowdown that might prompt personnel to skip steps in order to save time? Are there gaps in the geography or depth of the searches currently employed? If in a regulated industry, does the current program ensure compliance with laws and mandates?

When reassessing your program for vulnerabilities or unrealized efficiencies, be sure to consider the following best practices:

  • Conduct international background checks on all domestic hires that have lived outside the country. Many employers skip international checks altogether due to unfamiliarity and the added complexity in gathering information. To make international background checks a seamless process, it is important to partner with an employment screening provider who has the expertise and reach to conduct checks in any country that may be required.
  • If your company is in a regulated industry, ensure that your program is compliant with all laws and regulations that are in place.
  • Complete in-depth criminal checks. To broaden the criminal search, a national criminal database check should be considered – this will provide you with a fast check of compiled criminal records from most major regions of the United States. In order to comply with regulations, tips and leads uncovered through a database check should be verified at the county court level.
  • Conduct regular audits to be certain people responsible for checking background checks at all geographic locations are doing so according to policy. Audits will also identify any hires that may have slipped through the cracks without a background check completed.
  • Perform extended workforce background checks on all vendors, contractors or temporary hires that your company may work with. It is estimated that when vendors are screened they have a criminal hit rate of 60-100% above that of permanent hires.
  • To further streamline efforts, consider utilizing available pre-integrated solutions between your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) provider and your background-screening provider. An integrated solution will allow you to create a seamless recruiting-screening-hiring process while eliminating duplicate data entry and disjointed processes.

It is the responsibility of every organization to provide a safe and secure environment for its employees, volunteers and members. One critical step in this process is an effective background screening program.

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HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs.

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