Differing Opinions on Pre-Employment Background Screening; What's the Best Policy?

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As the United States continues to experience an extended period of low unemployment, questions on the validity of Pre-Employment Background Screening can come into question and a best course of action for many companies has become complicated. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com opines; "A best practice remains that company’s large and small work with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening company if only to begin the conversation about the value of background screening."

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With low unemployment employers scramble to find enough employees to fill available positions and with this challenge the question becomes: Too background check or not to background check. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com opines: "When it is difficult for employers to find employees due to low-unemployment desperation may raise its ugly head and the question of background screening takes center stage."

There are arguments that pre-employment background screening may hold individuals back from gaining employment, even in times of low unemployment.

Criminal histories and how they are used as part of pre-employment background screening often come into question. In recent years there have been a wide variety of so-called "Ban-the-Box" laws implemented as an effort to eliminate when the question of criminal record can be asked.

Almeida states: "Even with Ban-the-Box laws the question of criminal history can still be asked, it is just a matter of when in the vetting process it can be asked. These type of laws are not universally implemented and can often create confusion for employers."

One company in Yonkers, NY has taken a further step.

From the New York Times (May 29, 19):

If you want a job at Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, N.Y., just north of the Bronx, it’s yours. There’s no background check, drug test, credit check or call to references. Greyston won’t even interview you. You just go into the bakery and put your name and contact information on a list. When a job comes open and your name is next, you start work as a paid apprentice. (1)

But a pre-employment background check is not just about the use of criminal history reports.

Almeida adds: "Background checks are a critical tool that allows a company to verify information provided by an applicant."

From Workforce.com (Jun. 01, 19):

A recent study revealed that 85 percent of employers have caught applicants lying on their résumés or job applications.

The most common lies involve modifying dates of employment, falsifying credentials, training or degrees, inflating prior earnings, or hiding a criminal history.

Throughout the past several years, there have been several stories of prominent executives and CEOs, across many industries, whose careers were cut short for lying on their job applications or résumés. (2)

Almeida concludes: "Background screening is a critically important tool in vetting applicants. Some positions will demand more in-depth review. It really depends on the needs of the employer, and a best practice remains to work with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency in order to develop and maintain the most comprehensive screening program based on a company's needs."

CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party background screening agency with highly trained operators well versed in the needs and requirements of companies and organizations large and small utilizing public records, such as criminal background records, as part of a hiring process. Assisting companies in maintaining full compliance under the law is a central tenet of all client relationships with CriminalBackgroundRecords.com.

(1)    nytimes.com/2019/05/29/opinion/greyston-bakery-open-hiring.html
(2)    workforce.com/2019/06/01/when-job-applicants-lie-implementing-policies-to-protect-your-company/

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