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The Background Process – Article 5: Implementing an Efficient Background Screening Process

Developing and implementing an effective and efficient background screening process.

Developing and implementing an effective and efficient background screening process is vital to mitigate risk and drive the identification and selection of new hires. To assist the development of such a background screening process, our series of articles has examined specific topics and issues. This article examines the question:

“When in the selection and hiring process should Background Screening in the form of a Background Check or a Background Investigation be conducted?”

When to conduct background screening and report the results is important and impacts the overall selection and hiring process. The timeline of the overall process must be understood by each stakeholder to ensure all pertinent information is obtained, reported, and available when it is time to evaluate, select, or confirm the selection of a candidate(s).

When an open position is to be filled, stakeholders need to determine the type of background screening to be conducted, the information required to be obtained during the background screening process, and when the background screening results will be needed by selection and hiring decision makers. At the onset, any advertisement, solicitation, or other communication concerning the open position must include a statement background screening will be conducted as part of the selection and hiring process.

If a background check or background investigation is required by stakeholders for an open position, a determination of when the background process needs to be completed, and by extension initiated, can involve two scenarios:

1) After the evaluation process when a final candidate is selected, but prior to an employment offer being made and the candidate hired, or

2) At a specific time in the evaluation process when a certain number of candidates remain and from which a final selection will be made.

The first scenario pertains to when stakeholders complete their evaluation of candidates and select the individual to be offered the position. Background screening will be implemented in the form of a background check or background investigation to determine if there is any information which will preclude the hiring of the selected candidate. In this case background screening is a “but for” effort. But for any information being identified in the background screening which changes the decision of the stakeholders, the selected candidate will be offered the position.

The second scenario pertains to when stakeholders have completed a portion of their selection process and identified a specific number of final candidates from which the ultimate selection will be made. Background screening of the candidates in the final pool will be conducted and the results will be used in the process of making a final selection. The stakeholders will want to obtain as much information as possible concerning the final pool of candidates. Based on factors such as cost and efficiency, stakeholders will determine the exact number of candidates in the final selection pool for which background screening will be conducted. The final report of information pertaining to each candidate will be included in stakeholders’ ultimate evaluation and selection efforts.

In this scenario background investigations are most effective, providing qualitative information pertaining to both the technical and professional skills of each candidate. Combining information provided by the candidates, information obtained during candidate interviews, and information obtained during the background investigations, a broad scope of information is available to the stakeholders to best inform their final selection and hiring decision.

The question of when to begin the background screening process must first address when the results are needed by the hiring decision makers. A general understanding of how long a background check and background investigation should take is vital to establishing the timeline for the overall selection and hiring process. Those conducting the background screening process must understand this timeline and meet the deadline by which decision makers require the background screening information.

Background checks should be conducted, completed, and the results provided to stakeholders within two weeks of receipt of candidate information and materials documenting candidate consent. Background investigations should be conducted, completed, and the results provided to stakeholders within four weeks of receipt of candidate information and the receipt of materials documenting candidate consent. While these time frames are general, they will need to be considered in establishing the timeline for the overall selection and hiring process

Stakeholders need to be aware background checks and background investigations require the candidate(s) to be solicited for and report information to be used by investigators in the background screening process. Additionally, the candidate(s) will also be required to complete various consent and approval forms to be discussed in a later article. Requesting candidates to provide required information and consent, along with understanding the amount of time they will need to generate and return the information, will all need to be considered in establishing an overall selection and hiring timeline.

Communication between all the stakeholders is required at the beginning of the process to manage expectations. Initial discussions concerning what will be required from the background screening process, how it will be used, and when the results need to be provided to decision makers will drive and inform the decision as to when the background screening process should be initiated and completed.

Once the background screening process is initiated, the presentation of the information and how it is used by selection and hiring decision makers is an important part of the overall process. As a result, our next article will look at the question:

The Background Process – How should the results of the Background Check or Background
Investigation be presented, evaluated, and assessed in the selection and hiring process?

Big and small businesses alike recognize the value of doing background screenings, and The Aggeris Group maintains the ability to do full Background Investigations, Internal Investigations, and Insider Threats  on all of your prospective employees and/or partners.
Kevin James Kline, COO
The Aggeris Group

kevin@theaggerisgroup.com
www.theaggerisgroup.com

 

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