The background screen is a basic, and often mundane, part of the hiring process. We all know the steps:
- Obtain candidate information
- Submit for background screen
- Review results
Our hiring decisions are influenced and sometimes dictated, by the results of these screens. But what happens when a candidate decides to dispute employment background checks? What are your responsibilities? What are your rights? There are three key steps to keep in mind:
- Document your process and decision
- Follow the adverse action process
- Your role in the dispute process
Step One: Document your Process and Decision
Did you know 30 percent of the population has a criminal history? That statistic alone tells you your company needs a process in place when these findings show up on employment background checks. It is a good idea for your company to have hiring guidelines or a hiring matrix in writing before you begin the hiring process. Restrictions may be different for different roles. For example, the restrictions on a position that deals with children will be different from an individual who drives an employer-owned delivery vehicle.
Have guidelines or a matrix in place before recruiting for a position. Established protocols help guide your decision and provide documentation if questions arise or a candidate decides to dispute an employment background check. Further, this documentation preempts bias from the hiring committee.
Step Two: Adverse Action Process
Before you reject an applicant based on the findings of employment background checks, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires you to provide the candidate with the following information:
- A copy of the background check used in your decision making
- A copy of his/her rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
- The name, address, and phone number of the employment background checks company you used to obtain the report
Once the candidate has received the report, it is a good idea to keep the lines of communication open. Remember candidates may be emotional, and that their actions are not meant to be taken personally if they dispute employment background checks. Maintain good communication to improve the entire adverse action process.
Step Three: Dispute Process
Companies that provide employment background checks have a responsibility to provide accurate information. However, mistakes sometimes happen. Sometimes court records are inaccurate, names are often similar, misspelled, and human error is a legitimate liability to these reports.
It may feel invasive to ask, for example, but the simple nature of name changes due to marriage and divorce often creates a minefield for misunderstandings without a watchful eye. Give the candidate an opportunity to disclose potential issues, such as nicknames and name or marital status changes. Emphasize your willingness to “get it right,” knowing records are easily mistyped or cataloged.
Candidates have a right to contact the background screening company to dispute employment background checks. During this time, the employer is not required to keep the position open. It is often not feasible to leave a position open and other candidates in limbo during an investigation.
Regardless of the situation, treat all disputes as a serious matter and investigate them as such. All parties are better off when employment background checks provide accurate and updated information.
How Barada Associates Helps When Job Candidates Dispute Employment Background Checks
Barada Associates has 40 years of experience with employment background checks. Our experience and expertise, combined with our customer-centered business model and resource partners mean we take our work seriously. Every effort is made to ensure all reports are provided accurately and efficiently.
When you work with Barada Associates, and discover a candidate wants to dispute employment background checks, we are here for you every step of the way. Once you give them our contact information, the job is ours.
We will stay in contact with you during every step of the dispute process, as well as advise you on your role. Rest assured when you partner with Barada Associates, we have your back! Call us today!