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Benefits of a well-designed screening program and key considerations

June 6, 2022

In today's competitive job market, employers increasingly face the challenge of selecting the best candidates for their open positions quickly and effectively. One way to ensure that you’re making informed hiring decisions is by implementing a comprehensive background screening program. By conducting a thorough background check, you can identify any red flags in an applicant's history that could potentially affect their suitability for the job. Today, we'll discuss a few key considerations you should take into account when defining the processes included in your overall screening program, as well as the benefits of using them.


  1. Define Your Screening Criteria

The first step in building a comprehensive background screening program is to define your screening criteria. This involves identifying the specific components you want to include in your background check(s), such as identity verification, employment verification, education verification, criminal history check, credit history check, professional license verification, reference check, and drug testing. Consider your industry, location, and job requirements when deciding which components to include in your screening criteria.

  1. Obtain Consent

Before conducting a background check, you must obtain written consent from the applicant. This is typically done through a consent form that explains the purpose and scope of the background check and informs the applicant of their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

  1. Conduct the Background Check

Once you have obtained consent, you can begin conducting the background check. This involves gathering information from various sources, such as public records, credit bureaus, and references, to verify the applicant's identity, employment history, education, criminal record, credit history, professional licenses, and other relevant information. Depending on the components included in your screening criteria, the background check may vary in timeframes to complete.

  1. Evaluate Results and apply criteria consistently

After conducting the background check, you must evaluate the results to determine if the applicant meets your pre-defined screening criteria. This involves reviewing the information gathered during the background check and assessing any potential risks or red flags that may affect the applicant's suitability for the job. Depending on the severity of the red flags identified, you may decide to disqualify the applicant or request additional information or clarification. Remember, your screening criteria should be applied fairly and consistently with every check you run.

  1. Maintain Compliance

When conducting a background check, it's important to maintain compliance with applicable laws and regulations, such as the FCRA and state and local background check laws. This includes providing the applicant with a copy of their rights under the FCRA, obtaining written consent before conducting the background check, and following adverse action procedures if you decide to disqualify the applicant based on the results of the background check. An accredited CRA, such as Vault Workforce Screening, can help you understand regulatory considerations, changes, trends, etc.


By properly defining and consistently applying your processes when screening candidates and employees, you’ll realize many benefits.  

  1. Reduces Hiring Risks

One of the main benefits of building a comprehensive background screening program is that it reduces hiring risks. By conducting a thorough background check, you can identify any red flags in an applicant's history that could potentially affect their suitability for the job, such as a criminal record or a history of drug use. This allows you to make informed hiring decisions and reduces the risk of hiring someone who may pose a threat to your organization or other employees.

  1. Increases Hiring Confidence

Building a comprehensive background screening program also increases hiring confidence. By demonstrating your commitment to hiring the best candidates and taking steps to ensure that your employees are trustworthy and reliable, you can attract top talent and enhance your organization's reputation as a responsible and ethical employer.

  1. Improves Employee Retention

Another benefit of building a comprehensive background screening program is that it can improve employee retention. By hiring candidates who are well-suited to the job and who have been thoroughly vetted through a background check, you can reduce the likelihood of turnover and improve employee satisfaction and engagement.

  1. Mitigates Legal Liability

Building a comprehensive background screening program can also mitigate legal liability for your organization. If an employee engages in misconduct or violates company policies, and it is later discovered that the employer did not conduct a thorough background check before hiring the employee, the employer may be held liable for negligence or failure to exercise due diligence in the hiring process. By conducting a comprehensive background check, you can demonstrate that you took reasonable steps to mitigate potential risks and protect your organization from legal liability.

  1. Saves Time and Money

Although conducting a background check can be time-consuming and costly, it can save your organization time and money in the long run. By identifying potential red flags early in the hiring process, you can avoid hiring the wrong candidate and having to repeat the hiring process, which can be costly and time-consuming. Additionally, by reducing turnover and improving employee retention, you can save money on recruitment and training costs.

A properly defined and well thought out screening program is an essential step in ensuring you hire the best candidates for your organization and protect your organization, workplace, and employees from potential risks as well as legal liability. By defining your screening criteria, obtaining consent, conducting a background check, evaluating the results, and maintaining compliance, you can build a screening program that meets your organization's needs and enhances your reputation as a responsible and ethical employer. The benefits of building a well-designed screening program include reducing hiring risks, increasing hiring confidence, improving employee retention, mitigating legal liability, and saving time and money.

Background screening is a key component in recruiting and retention success. Vault Workforce Screening will act as a partner in helping you identify gaps, plan and scope solutions, integrate, train, launch and continually optimize your screening to adapt to ever-changing regulatory requirements, hiring trends, and new offerings. You'll have access to a dedicated, highly trained support team, who understands your unique needs and workflows, closely monitor your daily account activity, and optimize your program to adapt and scale. Our in-house expert advisors are available for consultation at any time should you have compliance questions or issues that need to be addressed, and regularly proactively update you on trends or upcoming changes in laws or regulations. Contact us today to talk further about how we can help you propose a new screening solution for your organization.

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