Why We Love Working With HR Professionals
For over fifteen plus years our company has provided compliant employment background checks to businesses in all fifty states, large and small, and across all industries.
In that time the main users of our services have been either the VP of Human Resources, Director, or even a HR generalist. The fact of the matter is we have been alongside our HR partners as a trusted Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) for many years, and have heard all your horror stories.
I thought it would bring value to other HR professionals to see what “pain points” their counterparts have encountered while implementing and enforcing their employment background screening program, and what they did to remedy the issues. This may prompt businesses out there to proactively change or modify a policy/process.
1. Paper Consent Forms Vs. Electronic Consent Forms
Due to the fluidity, and constant regulations revolving around employment background checks, HR professionals must analyses how to efficiently and expeditiously acquire applicant consent to run the background check.
Federal and State laws states that before an employer can procure an employment background check they must receive written consent and provide certain disclosure and notice to the applicant both at the federal and state level. Furthermore, recent case law has place the disclosure form under continued scrutiny.
In 2017 federal regulators broke up the disclosure and authorization form in two sections (the disclosure had to be on a separate page from the authorization).
Earlier this year courts ruled that the disclosure can only mention state requirements based on where the applicant is currently residing (before multiple states would be listed on the disclosure form offering the subject of the report to receive a copy of the completed background check). By implementing a “paperless” or electronic consent form employers can stay ahead of compliance and update the forms when need arises, instead of having to track down all paper forms, destroy them and create a new compliant disclosure form.
Additionally, turnaround times can greatly improve by having an electronic feature as it allows the applicant to provide all pertinent information securely over a protected electronic gateway straight from their phone, tablet, or IPad (also eliminating time spent by employer entering information on the applicant from a paper form and resume).
2. End-Users (Employers) Obligations When Conducting Background Checks
Traditionally background screening companies wanted to be seen as an extension of their clients HR department. However, as the industry has grown so has the scrutiny and regulation surrounding end-users (employers) obligations to “own” the entire background screening process.
It starts with implementing a non-discriminatory background screening policy that will spell out exactly why the company conducts employment background checks.
Next, complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), specifically acquiring applicant consent (disclosure and authorization) which comes directly from the employer (background screening companies can provide a sample, but must be vetted by the employers legal representation). Employers must also certify when ordering the background check that they have acquired applicant consent. Once the report is complete its VITAL that employers reviews the ENTIRE report for accuracy and any adverse information.
Lastly, and most important is if the employers takes any adverse action (as this is solely their decision) they must follow the pre-adverse and adverse action process (applicant dispute process).