NEGLECTING TO GET A RELEASE FORM BEFORE RUN- NING A CHECK This is the most common mistake carriers make involving background checks according to Edmonds . “ One of the most important regulations from the Fair Credit Reporting Act ( FCRA ) is that you obtain permission to run a background check ,” she says . She cites Section 604 ( b )( 2 ) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act that says “… a person may not procure a consumer report … for employment purposes with respect to any consumer , unless — 1 . a clear and conspicuous disclosure has been made in writing to the consumer at any time before the report is procured … in a document that consists solely of the disclosure , that a consumer report may be obtained for employment purposes ; and 2 . consumer has authorized in writing … the procurement of the report by that person .” Edmonds simplifies it this way : “ You must have your applicant complete and sign a release giving you permission to run a background check . In addition , you should provide the form to the applicant as a document that is separate from the application .”
PUTTING THE DRIVER TO WORK BEFORE DOING A BACKGROUND CHECK Edmonds cautions against trying to shortcut the process by getting a driver on the road before doing a background check , MVR and drug test . “ It costs more money to rehire and train after a troubling report comes back than it does to wait ,” she advises .
NOT GIVING CANDIDATES THE CHANCE TO CORRECT BACKGROUND CHECK MISTAKES When you ’ re eager to make a hiring decision , it ’ s easy to look at a background check report as the ultimate key to a candidate ’ s readiness . “ Don ’ t look at the report as if it answers a yes-or-no question ,” she cautions . “ Are there any blemishes on the applicant ’ s record ? If yes , does that mean they are automatically out ? If no , are they automatically in ? The problem is that pre-employment background checks cannot tell the whole story . An excellent hire might happen to have a rough patch in their history . Or a candidate could have an explanation that makes their criminal record look a little less shocking . In fact , this is one reason FCRA requirements dictate that you must notify applicants about the results of their background checks . Candidates deserve to know what you know . And you might both benefit when the candidate has an opportunity to explain themselves . It ’ s always a great idea to ask otherwise promising applicants if they can explain a blemish on their record . Of course , this generates more work for your HR manager . In fact , failure to ask questions is such a common mistake because follow-up takes time . But doing the follow-up may be worth it .”
TURNING TO SOCIAL MEDIA TO VET A DRIVER While it may be tempting to just peruse a candidate ’ s social media , it won ’ t give you the whole story and it could open the door to a discrimination claim . “ It ’ s very common for companies to turn to social media as a means of screening candidate for culture fit ,” Edmonds admits , but it ’ s not a good idea . “ Social media includes a lot of details you ’ re not looking for and information you could never legally ask about in an interview . You might learn an applicant ’ s age , religion , sexual orientation , or political leanings . You could find out they have kids or if they ’ ve had any recent health issues . And while it would be extremely difficult for anyone to prove you discriminated against them based on this knowledge , it is possible . For that reason , we advise against using social media while you ’ re in the process of making hiring decisions .”
DOING THE CHECK WITHOUT THE HELP OF A PROFES- SIONAL EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECK SERVICE An employee screening service can take an objective look at the character of a prospective hire . “ Our services can provide information that allows you to make intelligent human capital decisions , while withholding details that might cause unconscious bias ,” Edmonds points out . “ A professional background screening company is better skilled when it comes to human capital due diligence . It ’ s what we do day in and day out . Firms like ours know what to look for , where to find it , and how to analyze the data .”
Edmonds explains that mistakes like these happen for good reason , but still need to be avoided . “ In the transportation industry there is a high rate of turnover . Employers need to get their customers ’ products from one place to the other quickly and there is always a need to get the new drivers on the road as quickly as possible , so they skip these things ,” she says . “ But the outcome of missing these steps can be catastrophic for a company . You can end up hiring people with disruptive behaviors or a history of fraud or embezzlement . They may have a history of workplace violence , sexual harassment , racist behavior or bullying . Their backgrounds could cause morale issues among your team and create potential liability issues for your company . While it may be tempting in this tight labor environment , skipping these checks puts your company , your customer relations and your reputation at risk .” CLDA
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