Recently we saw this article that listed some reasons why background checks get delayed.
We would like to provide a summary of the reasons they present for why background checks get delayed. Directly below the reason we provide commentary as to how the delay can be avoided and other pertinent commentary.
Why Background Checks Are Important
The article starts by stating why background checks are crucial to the hiring process. Background checks help to weed out incompetent applicants or applicants that can become a serious liability for their employer in the future.
In addition to avoiding individuals who could injure your clients, members of the public and your reputation, your firm can avoid the tort of negligent hiring. Negligent hiring lawsuits average $1 million dollars. We have more about negligent hiring at our blog post .
Incomplete Background Check Request Forms
The most common cause of delay is when inaccurate or incomplete background check request forms are submitted. Furthermore, before employers can carry out background checks on candidates, they are mandated to receive signed authorizations from the candidates. If this permission is delayed for whatever reason, it can delay the pre-employment background check process.
We have an on-line process that allows the individual to acknowledge receipt and sign all the required Fair Credit Reporting Act forms. We call this our QuickApp process. In this QuickApp process, the individual completes all the information, in templates, needed for our firm to perform the background information. This reduces errors by avoiding the need to read illegible and incomplete “paper” forms. Paper forms increase the likelihood of sensitive identifying information being exposed. By using our on-line process, the completed forms are kept in our system that is password protected.
Incorrect Applicant Information
If the wrong information about an applicant is supplied, then the result for another person is going to be delivered. Common mistakes might be a candidate filling their first name as “Dan” instead of “Daniel”. The screening company then has to contact the employer or candidate to get further clarification. All this takes time and can slow down the process.
We always recommend two levels for conducting a criminal conviction search. The first level is conducting an investigation in the local jurisdiction the individual has lived. We also recommend adding work addresses. It is very common for individuals to live in one state and work in an adjacent state. When researching an individual, a consumer reporting agency uses three identifiers i.e. name, address and date of birth.
The second level is using a multi-jurisdictional database to cast a wide but shallow net for criminal convictions across the country. In our product for this second level we process names, alias names and former names through this multi-jurisdictional database at no additional charge.
One other comment in this area. If your firm uses a consumer reporting agency to perform these searches your firm is required to issue a pre-adverse action letter if you use any information in the report to make an adverse hiring decision. This allows the individual to indicate that the information in the report is inaccurate. If no indication of an error, then you are required to issue the final adverse action letter. This informs the individual you have taken the adverse action based on no response to the information in the report.
The article lists other reasons why background checks can be delayed in the area of employment verifications. We have a process that we call QuickVerify. This allows us to contact the previous employer via email and receive prior employment verification efficiently. Also, we have a dedicated toll- free line that prior employers can use to leave messages regarding the prior employment verification. This avoids the necessity of direct communication with appropriate individuals at the prior employer.
James P. Randisi, President of Randisi & Associates, Inc., has since 1999 been helping employers protect their clients, workforce and reputation through implementation of employment screening and drug testing programs. This post does not constitute legal advice. Randisi & Associates, Inc. is not a law firm. Always contact competent employment legal counsel. Mr. Randisi can be contacted by phone at 410.494.0232 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or the website at randisiandassociates.com