When your company is screening new applicants, consider these hiring best practices to ensure the background information collected is acquired legally and ethically.

When should a company consider an applicant tracking system to manage their hiring efforts?

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have become a standard tool in the hiring process. An ATS tracks candidates as they progress through the hiring process, leverages a business specific points system to objectively evaluate candidates and supports analytics through management reports.

ATS solutions provide an employer with a centralized tracking system that improves the hiring workflow and lowers the cost of filling a position. Any organization with multiple hiring locations/functions can benefit from the implementation of an ATS. The ATS tracks the candidate progress and houses information gathered from interviews and background checks. Once a decision is made to hire the candidate, the system supports the offer letter, the acceptance and the start date. Once the start date is established, the ATS advises the appropriate departments to assure all required actions are taken for the new associate (Payroll, IT, Training, etc.)

At what point in hiring should employment background checks occur?

Once an organization has determined that a candidate is the right person for the position, the application and consent documents should be utilized to initiate a background check. Some organizations choose to include a conditional offer letter at this point of the process – most organizations conduct the background check before making the offer. An important factor in this process is state law. Generally it is OK to conduct a background check before an offer is made but some states require a conditional offer be made before running the background check.

When are pre-employment credit checks appropriate?

The use of credit checks for employment purposes has been an area of debate since the initial acceptance of using background screens for employment purposes. 8 states (California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, Vermont and Washington) have enacted legislation that limits employers’ use of credit information. In 2012 there were 34 bills pending in 17 states (and the District of Columbia) that addressed restrictions of the use of credit reports for employment purposes. It is important to note employers use a credit report, not a credit score. A credit report covers a longer time frame than a score and provides more context to the type of debt, for example, debt associated with a health matter.

Using credit reports should always be consistent with the state legal restrictions (where legislation is in place) and only for positions in which the information is role appropriate – such as positions with fiduciary responsibility.

What paperwork should an employer have completed for a new employee?

Employers will need insurance forms, emergency contact information, acknowledgement of receipt and review of employee handbooks, documents completed by managers to secure technology access (laptops, phones, password, etc.), and required training (sexual harassment policy, travel policy, expense policy, etc.).

To learn more about best hiring practices, contact eVerifile today.