Monday, June 24, 2024
Industry News

Screening Strategy

This last obligation is a particularly frustrating topic for many employers due to the effort and uncertainty that it can introduce into the hiring process. A good vendor can work with you to streamline this process, reducing your effort and greatly improving your FCRA compliance.

During your program review, ask about the sources of data checked for each service and the methods by which the data is obtained. Is the vendor checking what you expect?

This review also should produce a greater understanding of the terminology used by your screening vendor. Particularly in the early days of the screening industry, the sales process often used service names and buzzwords that sounded more impressive than the reality. A classic example was to offer a state criminal history screen in a state that had no statewide repository. In reality, the services were checking repositories that sounded statewide when in fact they were not.

Your program should truly help contain your risk of a bad hire and the risk of legal action. Toward that end, your vendor should be your strategic partner to balance your costs with your company/client policies and your risks.

contactPartner with the Experts - Contact a Validex Account Executive for details on why you should make the switch to Validex today.


Move Strategically for Compliance

From the Experts at Validex

Today, your current employment screening program probably looks mature. Chances are, the program is more than a few years old, and people have long ago grown to expect that the process works a certain way because “that’s the way it’s always been.”

In fact, now is a good time to review whether your screening program really lives up to its potential. As a part of your risk management structure, it should be able to produce positive answers to the following questions:

  • Does the program reduce all possible risks by complying with all relevant laws?
  • Are your screens actually accessing the data that you expect?
  • Are you burdened with meeting third-party screening guidelines that are poorly written and difficult to understand?

Even if the answers are generally positive, a thorough review by experts in compliance can generate benefits for years to come.

Most companies began their screening programs a number of years ago (roughly 1995-2005) when the screening industry was in its infancy. Many details of compliance were not well understood, and details of screens sometimes were explained superficially.

Today, we see evidence of an unrecognized problem among employers large and small–that the screening program is assumed to be fine without close examination.

The industry of screening vendors and supporting suppliers has matured significantly. One aspect of this maturity is a much broader understanding of compliance. A vendor/partner should speak to you with authority on what this means for you and for the vendor. Both sides of this equation impact your risk management.

Using a vendor for screening changes some of an employer’s obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), but it does not eliminate all obligations. The law requires the employer to:

  • Obtain reports only for a “permissible purpose”–such as hiring employees.
  • Give the applicant a “clear and conspicuous” written notice that you will be obtaining “consumer reports” about him/her.
  • Obtain the applicant’s written authorization for screening. You need separate authorization for obtaining an “investigative” report such as employment references.
  • Provide the applicant with the opportunity to read, and possibly dispute, the accuracy of the reports if you plan to not hire him/her because of anything in a report.