Suggestions for your companies background check policy

The workforce is the primary user of background checks. Companies hire individuals they trust with company secrets and financial information. Background checks are not always necessary, but are often recommended.

Even companies that have been in business for some time may consider running routine background checks on current employees. However, in order to comply with federal regulations, companies seeking background checks on present or future employees should have a policy in place before beginning the process, or revise it if you do have one.

Different positions within your company will require different information from a background check. Ensure that job descriptions are clear as to what information may be obtained during the interview and hiring process. Ensure that present employees understand what information their position might possibly be acquired on a routine basis.

Some good guidelines to follow when determining what should be included in your company background check policy are:

  • specific roles within the company that require background checks and roles that checks are recommended for
  • information on the background check vendor that your company or institution will use
  • a breakdown of when company background checks will routinely take place
  • information on state and federal compliance issues related to background checks
  • material for HR personnel and prospective employees to understand how background checks and the process of obtaining them works

Remember if your company or institution is government funded, you may be required to make a copy of your background check policy available to the general public.

Background checks protect all parties involved. It is especially important for a company that uses background checks for the majority of their staff to have a background check policy. Federal regulations and many state laws require that detailed information be available to potential employees who may be subject to a background screening.

A background check company policy will not only provide answers to questions that employees will have during the process, but will protect the company from any liability in relation to employees claiming they were not aware of the possibility of a background check being performed on them. Each employee should be informed of the new or freshly revised company background check policy.

This policy may also contain information regarding acceptable an unacceptable parties for hire. Details should be given on what is expected of every employee and position within the company and what aspects of a background check will be most important for each position.

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