Concerning Results…Now What?

by | Mar 7, 2023 | Helpful Tips

It’s unavoidable. If you run background checks, eventually you’re going to be on the receiving end of a report which you find questionable if not unacceptable. So what do you do? 

Let’s start with the fact that there’s a process outlined under the Fair Credit Reporting Act which must be followed. It includes critical components such as a Pre-adverse Action and Notice of Adverse Action letter. We’ve included those steps among some of our own professional recommendations here.

Step 1: Send the candidate your Pre-adverse Action Letter. This letter simply notifies the candidate that there is something in their report which may lessen the likelihood they would be hired for a position within your organization. 

When signing a background check release, the candidate has the option to receive the same report that you will receive upon completion, so they’re able to see the same things you do. In addition, include a copy of the “Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA.” The candidate has the right to contact the background screening company and dispute the findings.

Step 2: Offer an opportunity for the person to explain. Depending on the severity or the scope of the report, it is wise to contact the person and offer them the opportunity to provide some context to what you’ve reviewed.

Step 3: Remain objective. Taking the report and the conversation into consideration, attempt to look at the whole picture. How long ago did the issue in question take place? Do they have positive professional references now? Did their explanation provide information which affects your initial assessment? 

Step 4: Make your hiring decision, and if opting to not to hire, a “Notice of Adverse Action” should be sent out. This letter simply states that what you discovered in the background check process adversely impacted them from being hired. If this is the result, industry standards recommend at least a 4-to-5-day window between the Pre-adverse Action Letter and the Notice of Adverse Action letter. It takes time for you to perform your due diligence.

Above all else, remember this. Do not ignore the candidate. If their results caused you to reconsider their candidacy, failing to follow the steps above could land you in hot, hot water.