When you’re hiring employees for your company, it’s essential to perform thorough background checks. In fact, nearly two-thirds of companies today conduct criminal background checks before they hire. Background checks lend insight into a job candidate’s history and they show whether the applicant is properly qualified and educated for the job.
While background checks lend important insight into a candidate’s criminal record, they can also be difficult to interpret. You may encounter the following challenges when you run a background check on potential employees.
Background checks can be hard for the untrained eye to understand — particularly arrest records. Employers who don’t have much experience hiring may not understand what the language used means. For example, when an individual is arrested, there may be multiple counts against them at once. This does not mean that multiple crimes were committed, but can be a simple technicality of the law. Additionally, the verbiage regarding the arrests could take extensive knowledge to understand, and they could be described in legal jargon that’s difficult to parse.
Records That Appear Incomplete
It’s possible when a potential employee approaches you, they’ll disclose a recent arrest. This can be particularly confusing if the arrest is not listed on their results from the National Criminal Background Search — especially if you just ran the search. The reasons for this can be multiple. First, just because someone was arrested, it does not mean they were convicted. They may have had the charges dropped or thrown out. These charges would not show up on a background check report.
Another complicated element that could show up on a background report is a pending charge. Each state has different laws about what kind of pending charges will show up on a background check. While pending charges may look negative on a candidate’s record, especially if they weren’t disclosed, they may not be as serious as they appear. Pending charges mean that a person has not been convicted yet, and they may be ultimately dismissed or dropped.
Felonies or Misdemeanors convictions for employment purposes can only be reported for 7 years. So, even if an applicant tells you he or she committed a crime, this can not be reported by your background check company. It’s federal law that protects the applicant who has stayed out of trouble for 7 years. FCRA Summary of Rights
The Solution to Understanding Arrest Records
If you want to ensure that you make the right hire for your company, consider using a graded background check from Origin. Origin’s graded background checks can help eliminate confusion and save time for companies.
Origin can structure the background screening process a pass/fail grading structure, which means you can tell us what categories mean the most to you and which are the least important. For example, if you don’t want to weigh things like traffic violations or small misdemeanors, we can ensure those are overlooked. Alternatively, if you work in an industry where safety is a very important factor, then we can automatically fail anyone with any criminal record.
When you use background checks to screen employees, you must ensure that you comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and state laws, to ensure a legal and fair hiring process. By allowing Origin to administer the test, we can ensure that your company remains protected and compliant.
Ultimately, you can let Origin do the tedious work of parsing arrest records during your hiring, so you can do the important stuff — like ensuring that you find and hire the individuals who otherwise best meet your company’s needs.