The Role of Background Screening in Building a Safe and Inclusive Workplace

, , , | July 11, 2023 | By

A background check for employment is more than just a preventive measure. It’s also a positive, pro-social practice promoting a safe and inclusive culture based on trust and respect. Background screening can play a significant role in advancing inclusivity in your growing business. To promote a positive workplace that’s safe and inclusive, you can take the following steps.

Identify Job Candidates With Histories of Intolerant and Violent Behavior

A background check for employment alerts you to a candidate’s potential risk to your organization. Their record could reveal intolerance or prejudice toward certain groups if they have a history of violent or aggressive behavior.

In searching for such red flags, you can take steps to reduce potential harm to your staff, customers, and other stakeholders. You also show that you take significant measures to ensure that all employees feel safe and accepted, regardless of their backgrounds.

Screen Consistently To Prevent Discriminatory Hiring

No job seeker should experience rejection solely because of their gender, sexual orientation, race, or other demographic characteristics. You must ensure that all applicants undergo the same hiring and screening processes, factoring in experience, required education, qualifications, interview performance, and the ability to “pass” background checks relevant to the position.

Comply With Regulations

If you work in sectors like finance, education, and healthcare, you need to be aware of industry-specific regulations regarding background checks. Being well-versed in these laws and following them to the letter are critical steps in enduring a safe and inclusive work environment. A screening provider can help you stay consistent in your record searches.

A background check company can also help you understand Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) laws and how to stay compliant. For example, the EEOC stipulates that an arrest does not necessarily mean a person was convicted. Therefore, a blanket exclusion of job applicants with arrest records could unfairly bar someone from employment and result in discrimination.

A background check service will also ensure you know and understand the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which mandates what information you must provide a potential hire when doing a background check. The FCRA also stipulates how you carry out an adverse action notification (AAN) when a candidate “fails” a criminal record screening.

Practice Fair Chance Hiring

While a criminal record may suggest that a job prospect poses a threat to your organization, you also should consider that denying employment to members of some groups could be discriminatory. Arrest, conviction, and incarceration rates disproportionately affect people of color, contributing to ethnic and cultural disparities and making it harder to make workplaces more diverse and inclusive.

Employing fair chance hiring allows you to play a role in dismantling these disparities. Fair chance hiring laws exist in several states and municipalities, helping people with arrest and conviction records an opportunity to find employment and improve their lives. For example, some of these laws make it illegal to do a background check for employment until a certain stage of the hiring process, such as when you’re ready to make a job offer.

Even if your state or city doesn’t enforce fair chance hiring, you might consider adopting this practice. Doing so allows you to factor individual circumstances along with background screening results. If a prospective employee has a criminal record but has taken steps to advance their education or overcome their past mistakes, giving them fair consideration shows your commitment to inclusiveness and prioritizing diversity in your workplace.

BIB Can Help

At BIB, we believe that all employees deserve to work in safe and inclusive places. We’re also convinced that background screening or employment can foster a positive work environment for everyone. Our team at BIB can help your growing company use tools and processes that help you promote inclusivity and remain compliant.

To learn more about our background check services and tools, call 704-439-3900 or visit us at today.