Your 2020 Guide to Background Screening Compliance

By Metrodata Services
Your 2020 Guide to Background Screening Compliance

Finding talented employees is a challenge. And just when you discover the right candidate, it’s time to move on to the hiring process. This may involve background checks, credit reports, drug screenings, driving records and more. Are you starting to feel overwhelmed? Don’t worry. Here’s a quick overview of commonly asked questions related to workplace compliance.

Should You Check if a Potential Hire in on the Sex Offender Registry?

Many positions don’t require sex offender registry searches. Nevertheless, it’s generally better to take the extra precautions. In the end, you want to keep your customers, your workers and the public safe. Plus, companies can be responsible even if they should have known an employee was a threat. Although Megan’s Law allows anyone to view their state’s Public Registry of Sex Offenders, be careful about running searches on your own. State records are not necessarily complete as offenders may move from one place to another and fail to re-register. Besides, federal and state laws dictate how you can use the information you find. Just because someone shows up on a list doesn’t mean you can automatically eliminate them from consideration.

What Does a Credit Report Say About a Potential Hire?

Most businesses run credit reports on employees who will be handling company and/or other people’s money. Some organizations include credit reports as part of their overall screening program. Credit reports can confirm a person’s identity as well as demonstrate their reliability. If someone makes sound financial decisions in their personal life, they are more likely to make good decisions in the workplace too. However, look at general trends rather than zeroing in on minor mistakes. To be fair, most of us have at least one overdue payment in our past.

Why Should you Conduct Employment Verification Before Hiring a Candidate?

Employment verification confirms dates of employment, job titles, professional responsibilities, salary information and reasons for termination. So, why is this information important when you’re hiring a candidate? Unfortunately, people sometimes stretch the truth or tell outright lies. In fact, according to a 2017 benchmark report, 85% of employers caught applicants fibbing on their resumes! Employment verification ensures your organization is adding qualified, honest and reputable people to your team.

What Documentation will I Receive After Conducting a Pre-Employment Drug Screen on a Job Applicant?

Often, drug screening is a mandatory part of the hiring process. However, you may be wondering how to interpret the results. Normally, urine screens are the most common. And, depending on the panels you request, you may receive information on anything from cocaine and marijuana to prescription drugs. Keep in mind, urine screens use a biochemical test or immunoassay. This means instead of measuring for the presence of the drug itself, the test is looking for a specific response from the body’s immune system. The antibodies produced can signal the presence of a given drug. Results are in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) with a cutoff concentration. If the number is below the cutoff, the result is considered negative (drugs not detected).

What is the Difference Between an Employment Drug Screening and a Drug Test?

People use the words drug screening and drug test interchangeably, but each is a unique process. Usually, organizations begin with a drug screening. Screenings run a biochemical test, or immunoassay on a urine, saliva, blood or hair sample. Since immunoassays search for a response from the body’s immune system (antibodies) rather than the presence of the drug itself, false positives are possible. If someone believes their drug screening was incorrect, they can request a drug test. Drug tests use precise equipment to identify the presence of a substance in a sample. Although drug tests are expensive and time-consuming, they are highly accurate. The phrases “speedy screening” and “testing takes time” can help you recall the differences between the two.

Should you Run a Background Check on a First-Time Candidate or Recent Graduate?

Yes, you should. Since your candidate doesn’t have previous work experience to fall back on, you must make sure they are qualified. This means checking their academic record, their professional licenses/certifications and their personal references. Even following up with supervisors from part-time jobs or internships can give you insight into your new hire’s work ethic, attitude and level of professionalism.

How do I Pull a Potential Hire’s Driving Record?

If your organization needs to run Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) searches on new or existing employees, there are two options. The first is the do-it-yourself method. Contact your state’s department of motor vehicles and request a report. However, you must have the person’s consent before you pull their driving record. Usually this strategy is cheaper but more time-consuming. The second option is to partner with background screening service. A screening provider can help you navigate the paperwork, remain compliant with state and local laws and interpret the results.

About Metrodata Services:
At Metrodata Services, Inc., our purpose is to ensure that your company is making the best possible hiring decision. We anticipate our expertise of the pre-employment screening industry to diminish your burden of hiring a bad candidate. Metrodata believes that long term success is built on the foundation of having a dependable workforce. We are here to make that vision a reality for your company.


Contact us today at 716-847-1590 or visit for additional information.


Disclaimer: The above commentary entails the views of the author and not necessarily the views of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.


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