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sensitive workplace and need to keep certain substances or behaviors out. Maybe your clients have imposed specific background screening requirements. All employers – regardless of external pressures – have to take reasonable steps to ensure their business is protected against bad hires of one kind or another. “ The first step in developing a background-screening program is determining why you’re doing it. You may have statutory requirements to do certain checks on certain employees. Perhaps, you have a safety-sensi-tive workplace and need to keep certain substances or behaviors out.” Once you have determined what your risks are, the next step is to decide how best to mitigate them. Criminal record checks may weed out employees with a history of theft or violence. Credit checks could help ensure that employees with financial responsibilities have a good financial track record. And, verifications of resume claims will point out applicants who are not qualified for the job – or simply aren’t honest about their past. Engage an Experienced Global Background Screening Partner While a background-screening firm cannot build your program for you, one with global experience can provide reliable and affordable access to data across jurisdictions as well as security, scalability, and local expertise (such as best practices for compliance). Major providers can suggest sophisticated service offerings that allow you to get the right amount of information you need – and will not just deliver the results, but explain them to you as well. Identify the Laws That Apply to You In the U.S., you may operate in cities or states with a Ban the Box law, meaning you can’t ask about a criminal record before an offer is made. In Canada, while the term Ban the Box is not used, provincial, federal, and territorial human rights laws may limit what you can ask before you make an offer, and how you can use information collected afterwards. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has set out guidelines for how to use criminal records without engaging in illegal discrimination. Canada’s privacy laws apply to some employers, but not all – do you know if they apply to you? And of course, no matter where you operate, you have to understand and comply with consumer reporting laws, most notably the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in the U.S., which sets out rules for everything from how to tell your applicants that you will do a background check to what information you can receive to how you must notify them of an adverse decision. Create a Global Policy with Local Nuances Once you’ve identified the risks you need to mitigate and understand the types of background check searches you need, you are ready to create a global policy. While some local exceptions will be required, you may be able to take a similar approach across the board. Some of the points that your policy must cover include: ●● When to let applicants know that a background check will be completed ●●In New York City, you may not state that a background check will be done until after an offer is made, but in Quebec, it is recom-mended that you mention the background check in the job posting. ●● How to collect applicants’ consent for a background check ●●Throughout North America, you are required to have informed consent prior to initiating a background check, but laws, such as the FCRA and state and provincial consumer reporting laws, have specific technical requirements you must follow. ●● What type of searches will be completed on which positions or categories of positions ●●While you can have global baselines, in some places you will need to forego certain searches such as credit checks, which are forbidden or restricted in a number of cities, states, and provinces. ●● Who will receive and review background check results and how derogatory information will be reviewed for relevance ●●Reviewing results is complex. While you can set guidelines for how to go about it, in many places, a case-by-case review is necessary, such as in New York State and British Columbia, both of which require individualized review of criminal record information. ●● How to notify applicants that an adverse decision may be made ●●The FCRA requires you to notify candidates before you make an adverse decision, provide them with a copy of their report and their rights, and allow them time to initiate a dispute. Some Canadian consumer reporting laws require you to give notice in a certain way when an adverse decision is made, but not necessarily beforehand. Keep Up to Date with the Changing Landscape A cross-border screening policy is an evolving document that requires regular review and updates. Which cities/states have passed the new Ban the Box laws? Which provinces have amended employee privacy laws? What are the trends in class-action FCRA lawsuits? A qualified global screening partner can help give you access to real-time compliance information in all the jurisdictions where you operate so that your program protects you against the risks of both bad hire and non-compliance with the law. RPO Cross-Border Background Screening Mark Sward is SterlingBackcheck’s Director of Privacy and has worked in the Canadian privacy team since 2011. Through his attendance at conferences and educational opportunities about privacy in Canada and abroad, and through managing SterlingBackcheck’s Canadian privacy program, he has an in-depth understanding of Canada’s many privacy laws and their application to various types of personal information, especially that of employees. Visit www.sterlingbackcheck.ca Connect Mark Sward Follow @SterlingBackCh Would like to Comment? Please Click Here. Talent Acquisition Excellence Essentials presented by HR.com | 12.2015 Submit your Articles 9


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