How to conduct a background check

Blog
22 July 2021
4 min read

Conducting a background check isn’t a mystery. But it’s also not as simple as logging into a computer and doing a couple of quick searches. There are laws and regulations that must be followed. Applicants have to be provided with the correct information at the right time.

If it’s done correctly, you can get the valuable information you need when hiring an individual for your business. Here are some FAQs on how to conduct a background check. 

How do I conduct a background check on potential employees?

If you want to run a background check on potential hires, there are several important steps in the process.

The first step is to have a plan in place for why you will conduct the background check. You’ll want to include what types of checks your company will do, how the information will be used in the hiring process, and the timeline for conducting a check. You should also reference all laws and regulations that pertain to a background check, like fair chance hiring laws and the Fair Credit Reporting Act requirements. 

It’s wise to select an experienced background check screening provider. Orange Tree can work with you to set up a background screening program with customized checks to meet your needs. We also offer technology to make the entire process faster and easier for you and your candidates. 

What types of background checks can be performed?

Background checks can cover many different areas. Some of the more common ones include criminal background, employment verification, education verification, professional license verifications, professional reference verifications, consumer credit, and driving history.

Can my company perform different types of checks?

Yes. If you have financial jobs that you are hiring for, it probably makes sense to do a credit check and federal criminal background check to ensure there are no red flags in your applicant’s history. If you are hiring for a driving position, performing a motor vehicle records check is probably one of the most important checks you’ll need to perform.

Orange Tree works with you to tailor your background checks to the position.

How long does a background check take?

Generally, the turnaround time for background checks will depend on the type of check you are running. On average, most background checks take between 1-5 business days. 

At Orange Tree, our average turnaround time is 1-3 days. Our mobile technology can decrease your turnaround time by a full day because we make it easy for your candidates to give consent and provide information.

What type of compliance is needed for a background check?

Some specific laws and regulations must be followed for all background checks. 

The Fair Credit Reporting Act: The FCRA is a federal law that regulates a person’s consumer reports and other information that credit reporting agencies obtain. If you do a background check, you must disclose, authorize and get consent to perform the check. 

If you decide not to hire someone because of what you find, you must file an adverse action report. That process includes sending a pre-adverse action notice with the report. You also must send them a list of their rights. Your candidate will have time to respond. At the end of the process, you send an adverse action notice. 

Fair chance hiring laws - Also known as “Ban-The-Box” laws, these laws mainly mandate that there be a delay by a prospective employer for asking for an applicant’s criminal history until a conditional offer is made or the candidacy goes deeper into the interview process. It’s the law for public hiring in 150 cities and counties, 35 states, and the federal government. In 14 states, it’s also a law covering private companies. The law allows people to demonstrate their qualifications before disclosing their criminal history. 

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces the law that prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, or origin. Businesses must ensure their background screening policies do not discriminate against protected groups. 

Consent: Consent is a fundamental part of the background check process. Employers are required to let their candidates know in writing that they’ll be conducting a background check as part of the employment process. Your business must provide a document that straightforwardly conveys this information.

What happens if you are not in compliance?

A business that is not in compliance runs the risk of facing some negative actions. Those include fines, lawsuits, and having to settle potential litigation.  

Get expert help for compliant background checks

Work with an experienced background screening provider. For more than 30 years, Orange Tree has performed background checks and helped companies make quality hires.

We are experts in FCRA, fair chance hiring, and other compliance measures. Let us guide you through the process and perform fast background checks to make hiring decisions quickly. 

Schedule a call to learn how Orange Tree can help your company today!