One of the most common questions we get from hiring executives is when should I run the background check? Before I hire the person or after? The paradigm has shifted to post offer background check with the recent “ban the box” legislation and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforcement. We will look at three reasons why background checks should be conducted POST OFFER:

  1. What Does the Policy State?
    Any employer who utilizes employment background checks as part of the hiring process should have a policy in place. If the policy states that employment background checks are conducted post-offer then the company should adhere to their own policy. If the employer deviates from their own policy for certain circumstances then they could be opening themselves up to a discrimination law suit.

  2. Potentially Discriminating Against Protected Classes.
    Conducting the background check before offering employment could pose a discrimination risk due to not knowing the qualifications/experience of the new hire. In contrast by offering employment (based on favorable interview or review of qualifications) it will eliminate any claims of discrimination due to making the decision based on an adverse background check and not discriminating against a protected class.

  3. Screening a pool of applicants could be costly
    The economy has improved since 2008, and the employment rate has slowly declined. However employers aren’t hard press to find job applicants to fill their positions, it’s not uncommon for an employer to interview up to 10 applicants for one open position. With that being said it wouldn’t be cost effective to an organization to do a background checks on every single applicant that applies. Instead implement a consistent interview process that may start with a phone interview and proceed to a face to face meeting. Once you have the right applicant in place then make the offer, and conduct the background check (this will save the company both time and money).