Background Screening Policy Basics

Most organizations today in any industry conduct background checks to protect the safety and security of people as well as the safeguarding of assets and internal information of the business. Without this very important procedure, the operations of a company can be susceptible to a lot of risk. When we say company, it can be in the corporate arena, education, loans processing, tenancy, sale of firearms, and bank credits, among many others. When a company on the other hand applies this method, it is never enough to just adopt the process. It is very important to establish a background screening policy in hard copy to guide hiring managers and their staff, employers, and business owners in the conduct of checking on someone’s credibility and character.

A background screening policy is a guideline that shows in writing the company’s purposes for a background check, what it covers, who handle and executes it, the rules governing the check in compliance to the standards of the company as well as federal and state laws, the processes involved with the screening, how the information gathered is used and protected, and how the privacy of subjects is shielded.

When creating a background screening policy, the references used to ensure that the business is on the right track in avoiding possible legal battles involved with wrongful or discriminatory background checks are the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and some other state credit reporting acts.

The activities involved in the conduct of a background check are those common steps usually done in the research of an individual’s background and the hiring or approval guidelines set for employees, tenants, and other business partners. Some form of investigative consumer reporting is also included in the policy. For pre-employment purposes, employee reference checks should also be stated. An inquiry on motor vehicle records may also become relevant in the execution of a background check.

Many organizations and businesses have standard forms being used and are also stated in their screening policies to expand their guidelines. These forms can include an authorization form that subjects will sign to express their agreement to a background check.