If you want to create an effective employee screening program, you need a clear background check policy. But what should go in it?
Below, we're providing an overview of what should go into a background screening policy. We've also created a background screening policy sample that you can use as a springboard. (Clicking on the link opens a PDF.)
Note: The text below and the sample policy are NOT legal documents. We're simply providing the "bones" of a solid policy. You should customize it to your needs, and you should have it reviewed by an attorney experienced in consumer protection and employment law.
Section I: Why We Screen Candidates & Employees
This section allows you to explain the purpose of your organization's employee screening program. It's a good place to outline the benefits, like creating a safer workforce. If you're in an industry that requires certain screening, like DOT background checks, you should address that is well.
Section II: The Scope & Applicability of Our Employee Screening
In this section, you'll indicate whether you conduct only pre-employment background checks or whether you do pre-hire checks and rescreens and/or ongoing monitoring of employees.
Give a comprehensive overview of everything that could be contained in a pre-employment background check. Make it clear that not all job titles require the same checks.
If your organization also conducts rescreening and/or ongoing monitoring, again provide a comprehensive list of the possible rescreens and monitoring.
Note: If you have a separate drug & alcohol testing policy, you can link to it from this policy.
Section III: Employee Screening Process & Procedure
Divide this into two sub-sections, if necessary: one for job candidates and one for current employees (in the case of rescreens or ongoing monitoring).
- Job Candidates: Outline the process your organization's hiring manager follows when initiating a background check, including the process for adverse action notices.
- Current Employees: Outline how rescreens work and/or how ongoing monitoring works.
Note: This is where you'll discuss that your organization works with a third-party background check vendor like Good Egg.
Section IV: Compliance & Responsibilities
Include a statement about compliance—how your organization complies with all laws governing any restrictions regarding background checks.
You can also get into the specifics of compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and adverse action notices.
Need assistance creating a clear background check policy?
We can help! Get in touch and let's discuss your employee screening needs. In the meantime, download the background check policy sample here.