In these difficult economic times, more and more people are looking for a job; including job-seekers with a criminal record. This can be a daunting task for an individual with a less than perfect history. Likewise, it can be a risky undertaking for employers.

AccuScreen, an employment screening industry expert specializing in criminal background checks, can help.

How should a employment screening background check affect the hiring decision?

First, let’s look at things from the point of view of a job seeker. People with a criminal past can expect to find a double-edged sword in many cases. Employers ask about criminal records on job applications but if applicants withhold the information, they risk being fired later for being dishonest. If they are honest about their past, they risk not getting the job. Questioning whether or not an applicant should be upfront is a tough question to answer, and should consider the rights of both the individual and the company in this situation.

Some crimes committed are not required to be reported on job applications, such as if there were an arrest but no conviction. Some states vary on this policy, so check your own state employment board for further information. An employment screening background check is an option for employers who use the information from criminal background checks responsibly, without discriminating against qualified candidates based on criminal background.

Now let’s look at this same situation from the employer’s point of view. Employers in the past have been prosecuted for not doing employment screening background checks on employees who later harmed others at the company. It is every employer’s responsibility to do their full investigative work on any applicant before hiring them, including criminal background checks. However, if someone is found to have a criminal record, should you automatically decline their application? This can be dangerous because in certain states, it is illegal to automatically reject an application solely for past crimes.

Does Their Background Directly Impact Your Business Functions?

The key to successfully navigating this situation is to consider the type of business you run versus the type of crime that was reported on the person’s application. For example, if someone has been convicted of a violent crime it may not be in your best interest to hire them for a position where they would have face-to-face contact with customers.

Be aware of what your job applicant has done in their past when using an employment screening background check with AccuScreen, and then weigh the results carefully against your specific business model and see if there could be a fit. You can legally decline an applicant based on the results of a criminal background check; if you can establish that there is a business-related reason for not hiring them.

The bottom line is to give people a chance to shine whenever possible (even those who have criminal records) but never at the expense of your customers, employees, or your company’s well-being.

Click Here For the White Paper on Screening Job Applicants