Background Check Guidelines for Current and Future Employees

The risk to your company increases as the level of access your new hire will have to company assets increases. For example, if the job description includes the handling of blank company checks, it may be wise to run a criminal and credit check on anyone you consider hiring for the position.

Consider how much access a potential employee will have to sensitive information within your organization. Some companies may even find it prudent to run background checks on current employees when making internal hires or promotions, or run them routinely for certain positions.

Whatever the reason for running the check, it is important to have clear policies in place before beginning the background check process in order to comply with federal regulations. Mitigate risk by delineating and following a few important guidelines as you write and revise your background check policy*:

  • List the roles within the company that will require background checks
  • Include contact and website information for the vendor who will be running the background checks
  • Include a schedule for when routine checks will take place
  • Include info on applicable state and federal compliance considerations
  • List procedural instructions for HR personnel to follow when obtaining background checks

It’s important to remember that government-funded agencies may be required to make a copy of the finalized policy publicly available.

Job descriptions should clearly indicate what information will be obtained in the hiring process, as different positions within the company may call for a background check with unique specifications. For routine checks, present employees should be informed as what to expect and given the opportunity to agree.

When bringing new people on board in your organization, there is a level of risk that is unavoidable. However, though unavoidable, this level of risk is not impossible to minimize.

In the end, any position at any company holds a level of risk. From entry level positions to executives, you grant access to various, and important pieces of your company. Though it may be less thorough for an entry level position, a background check can save time, money, and many headaches.

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