Criminal background checks are a first line of defense that businesses can use to weed out potential fraudsters and problem employees, but many choose not to take this simple first step. You don’t need to be a detective to run a background check; it can be as easy as creating a profile on the state website and running reports as needed.
The first thing to consider is whether you want to run a state or national background check. If you run one for just the State of Michigan, any crimes committed elsewhere will not appear in the search results. Also, keep in mind, the database is only as accurate as the information fed to it. If someone was convicted of a crime yesterday, but it hasn’t been entered in the system yet, you won’t see it in the results.
You will want to make sure to consider hiring best practices and industry-specific requirements when implementing background checks so you don’t set yourself up for lawsuits. Define ahead of time what types of crimes would cause you to retract an employment offer, and be consistent in enforcing your policy. Although there is no defined law regarding when you may run a background, it’s best to do so after you’ve made a job offer. Be sure to define in the offer that employment is contingent upon passing the background check. The HR specialists at H&S can help you develop a policy or even facilitate running the checks.
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To learn more about implementing a background check policy contact Ashley Clonan at 616.884.7949.