If you aren’t doing background checks and drug screens before you hire then you really don’t know who you are hiring. KPA has found that over 30% of applicants we process through our HR system do not provide complete or accurate information on their application. To make a good hiring decision and to protect yourself in the event of a negligent hiring lawsuit a background check and drug test are a must. I’ll never forget having to testify against a client when I worked for one of the largest background companies in the US. The plaintiff’s attorney asked me if the client could have seen a history of substance abuse and traffic accidents if they had just been willing to spend $60 for a background check. I had to answer yes, the client had access and in fact had ordered background checks and drug tests in the past. Unfortunately a supervisor at the client company shortcut the process and put a person to work without the required background check. The new employee then promptly got drunk on the job and ran a company truck into the back of a car. The HR manager was not aware that the process had not been followed until after the accident had happened. The settlement reached with the injured parties was over a million dollars. Lessons learned?
1) Standardize the process for obtaining and reviewing background checks and drug tests. If possible use software that will automate and force compliance to company policy for not just background checking but for the complete hiring process.
2) Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. A background check and drug testing will cost in the range of $60 to $75 dollars if you use a third party. A very small investment to make sure you know exactly who you are hiring.
3) Use a third party provider (they have expertise, and access to data you won’t have ) but select with care. Understand how they obtain their data. Make sure they provide compliance assistance as there are a number of regulations at the state and federal level that govern the use of drug testing and background checks in hiring.
4) Never establish a policy that states “we don’t hire anyone with a criminal record”. In many states this would be considered discrimination. Each background check must be reviewed against the actual job and factors such as time since the criminal act, age at the time of the act, efforts at rehibiliationa and the serious of the crime must be considered. Employers can determine that it is not in their best interest to hire a person with a criminal record but must show that the decision was made fairly and without discrimination. Providing a ranking using specific criteria is where third party provider can really add value.
For more information on background checking go to http://www.kpaonline.com/hr/hr-management-system/background-checking-drug-testing.html or http://tandemselect.com/
Join the conversation: Do you always obtain a background check and drug test on a new hire?