Conducting a background
check on prospective employees is a critical part of the selection process.
This procedure validates the information that was given in the application
and during the interview. This help ensures that the hiring decision
is based on factual data. There have been instances in both academic
and non-academic where employment and even educational information is
exaggerated and/or falsified. Effective background checks also help
limit the risk of legal issues.
One issue that
is related to conducting background checks is referred to as "negligent
hiring". An example of "negligent hiring" is when an
employer fails to complete a background check on a prospective employee who has had a record of violent or sexual harassment behavior in the
past. If that prospective employee is then hired and causes harm to
another individual, that person could maintain (in a court of law) that
the organization was negligent in their hiring decision.
UMD has adopted
the following policy, which is designated to increase effectiveness
and minimize risk.
A job offer is
contingent upon the completion of the hiring certification. This form
requires that degrees, certifications, and past employment must be verified
to ensure accuracy.
In seeking additional
information regarding an applicant's past performance beyond what is
required in the Hiring Certification, most companies will only offer
dates of employment and the job title of the past employee. In order
to get more information, it is recommended that you offer to fax a copy
of the release form that is signed by the application at the time of
submitting the employment application. This will release the organization
from any liability, thus increasing the chance that you will receive
a candid response.
Included in this
packet is an informational guide to background checking, a copy of the
hiring certification, the release form, as well as a list of questions
to ask when completing the background check.
If you have questions
on how to handle a specific situation, call Tim Caskey at 726-6326.