Tips for Conducting a Criminal Background Check

Tips for Conducting a Criminal Background Check

A criminal background check in Canada exposes the troubles encountered by a potential employee such as; felonies, violations, and misdemeanours. The results are used to determine the level of responsibility, exposure to customers and business assets an employee can be accorded.

Criminal background checks create a safer and secure work environment, bolster trust among employees, identify potentially risky applicants, and protects an organization’s assets and reputation. Therefore, organizations must invest in comprehensive criminal background check programs that offer complete background verification of the applicant

Below are beneficial tips;

1) Have a Standard Criminal Background Screening Policy

A standard and properly defined criminal background screening policy offers clear guidelines for HR and security professionals and eliminates inconsistencies in the type of checks that are conducted for different positions.

The policy should define the type of criminal checks to be performed for each employment position, the number of years to be covered, the legal procedures that must be adhered to and how to determine whether the criminal history records and results meet your organization’s hiring standards.

2) Verify Credentials, Employment and Education Backgrounds

A good number of resumes contain some form of misrepresentation in regards to the level of education, employment history, and experience. This is because experience and education play a major role in determining whether an applicant qualifies for a position or not. Education credentials must be verified with institutions of higher learning while experience is verified by contacting former employers or referees.

3) Conduct International Background Checks

The workforce in Canada has become international than ever before especially among healthcare providers and university professors. Job applicants who were born and educated outside Canada may not always have criminal background record check in Canada. Therefore, it is advisable for potential employers to conduct international checks by partnering with criminal history records screening organizations that have access to records in any country globally.

4) Reassess your Background Policy and System Regularly

It is advisable to reassess your criminal background check policies and systems regularly to ensure that they remain effective. Reviews identify vulnerabilities, gaps, and complexities that slow down the process or make it less effective.

Regular reassessments ensure that your organization remains compliant with the ever-changing laws and regulations. Additionally, they ascertain that people responsible for conducting a background check, do so according to the laid out organizational policies.

5) Give Applicants a Chance to Clear Misunderstandings with Background Checks

Though credible, sometimes information obtained through criminal background checks can be wrong or incorrect. Therefore, organizations are advised to give qualifying applicants a chance to clear their names, explain the findings and possible rectify the incorrect information to avoid future misunderstandings. This way, you save and get to work with a great employee that you would have excluded incorrectly.

6) Seek Permission before Conducting Criminal Background Checks in Canada

According to the law, organizations must obtain informed consent from applicants prior to conducting criminal background checks. Applicants fill a detailed consent form that states the type of information the organization seeks to obtain, how the information will be used and who it will be shared with.

Organizations are allowed to use the information for their requested purpose only. In case an organization wants more information or to use the criminal history records in different ways, they must acquire permission from the applicant. In the event an applicant refuses to sign the informed consent form, they should be automatically eliminated from the potential employee consideration list.

7) Seek Legal Advice on Laws Governing Background Checks in Canada

Any organization conducting criminal background checks in Canada must adhere to PIPEDA and the privacy act. Hence, it is important to seek legal guidance on how to ensure that your organization remains compliant and does not violate applicants’ rights and end up with unending lawsuits.

Final Remarks

Most job applicants volunteer information and do not object to the criminal background checks. Therefore, organizations should be keen not to go against the applicants’ rights and permission on how to use the criminal history records. Moreover, the checks should be limited to information that is deemed relevant to a job position or important based on the nature of business an organization conducts.