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What To Do When Your Candidate Fails A Background Check

failed background check

Great candidates are hard to come by in today’s market. When you do find someone who would add value to your team, you want to scoop them up quickly. Many employers around Cincinnati choose to extend offers contingent upon a background check. But what happens when you do that and the candidate fails the check?

Poor background check results can derail your plans to hire a candidate, especially if you aren’t sure how to proceed. Follow this advice to navigate a failed candidate background check.

What Is a Failed Background Check?

A background check on a potential job candidate can provide insights into their suitability for the job.IT can uncover criminal history, confirm valid licenses and certifications and more.

Depending on the results of their background check, candidates can “pass” when background check results suggest there are no risks associated with hiring the candidate. However, a “failed” check should trigger further review to determine suitability.

It is important to weigh the check against the job. One mad mark or “hit” may not be an automatic disqualification, especially if it occurred many years in the past and is at a low level of seriousness. For example, a 30-year-old who got in minor trouble at age 18 but has a clean record since has probably grown up quite a bit and may not need to be disqualified.

However, there are some background check “hits” that should be examined more closely:

  • A pattern of criminal history
  • Conviction of a violent crime
  • Repeat offenses, even minor
  • Embezzlement or company theft
  • Evidence that the candidate misrepresented credentials or previous employment.
  • Driving offenses (If the job requires driving)
  • Positive drug tests for illegal substances

 When Should You Reconsider and Offer Based on a Failed Background Check?

If you made a contingent offer, you might have to consider rescinding that offer based on background check results, but always follow proper legal guidelines. You may need to consult with a lawyer in Cincinnati if your company does not have its own legal department.

At Precision Staffing, we are not attorneys and can not offer legal advice, but there are some overarching guidelines that you should go over with your attorney if you’ve made an offer and a candidate fails a check:

  • Provide a disclosure to the candidate that outlines what was found in the check. Be sure your disclosure form states your intent to use background check information to make employment-related decisions and be sure you always receive candidate authorization before proceeding with the background check.
  • Have policies in place. Your hiring policy should outline the process you will follow when candidates fail background checks. Your hiring policy should describe the circumstances in which an offer of employment can be affected by background check results.
  • Provide adverse action notification. Once you’ve determined a need for further review, you will need to make proper notification to candidates. Anytime you are considering adverse action based on background check results, you’ll need to provide candidates with the following documents, as required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act including a pre-adverse action letter, a copy of the background report, a copy of the document “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.”
  • Allow time for response. Candidates may not be aware of bad information on their record, especially on credit reports. Even if they are aware, they should be given time to respond to the check. Many organizations provide five days, though you may decide to provide more. If the candidate can explain or dispute their background check results, and their record is updated or certain results are removed from their record, you may determine you can move forward with the hiring process. Conversely, if the candidate can’t explain the results or does not dispute them, and you have consulted your policy and other advisers, you may need to move forward with taking adverse action.
  • Determine whether to proceed. Withdrawing an offer of employment is not easy, particularly with a great candidate who is otherwise a strong fit for your team. Therefore, you’ll want to be sure you have taken all the necessary steps to make an informed decision. Work with HR and legal counsel to determine whether to move forward or take the offer off the table.

Partner With An Exceptional Staffing Company In Cincinnati

One of the best ways to eliminate the potential stress of having a candidate fail a background check is to work with a top staffing company in Cincinnati. Precision Staffing Services handles all of the up-front work for you, providing you with vetted and verified candidates. Contact us today to streamline and improve your hiring process.



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