How should you conduct background screening when hiring friends?


How should you conduct background screening when hiring friends?

Applications. Interviews. Screening.

Depending on your company policy, the hiring process has its own routine. But what happens if you decide to hire a friend? Should screening look different if you’re looking to hire someone you know?

Consider this.

Consistency matters. Offering special treatment to a new hire, even a friend, can get complicated. Ignoring best practices can lead to FCRA violations, give cause for lawsuits, delay hiring, or even jeopardize a relationship. Most lawsuits start because of inconsistency. Picking and choosing where to apply HR policy leaves your company open to liability. Apply screening policy consistently to everyone, friend or not. 

Stay specific. What kind of role would this person fill? Keep your screening specific to that job. For example, if they’re handling money, you may want to add a credit check to your screening plans. Are they driving a company vehicle? You might need to skip the credit report and look for a clean driving record instead. Target the exact screening needs of this job—no more and no less.

Keep it compliant. Screening is an employer’s main source of unbiased information about a new hire. But screening should happen in a way that complies with all state, federal, and local laws. Just because you might know who you’re hiring doesn’t mean you’re exempt from screening laws. Get consent before you start. Have a compliant policy and follow it to the letter, especially any adverse action steps necessary.

According to a 2018 survey by the National Association of Background Screeners (NAPBS), 86 percent of companies saw screening as a means of protection. But screening doesn’t just protect companies. It also protects employees. Whether the employee is a friend or another new hire, they all deserve the same level of protection and professional ethics.

Want to polish up your screening practices?  Contact ClearStar today.


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