Tips For Employers Who Require A Criminal Records Check

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If you are preparing to submit a criminal records check, you will likely find that advice is not far off—advice from friends, neighbors, and online articles which can give you tips on preparing, submitting and appealing a criminal records check. But what if you are an employer or company that requires criminal records checks? There is precious little information out there about the ins-and-outs of requiring criminal records checks for your job applicants, even though your side of the application is significantly more difficult than that of the applicant. If you are an employer who requires a criminal records check for job applicants, you can benefit from the following best tips for employers that require or request criminal record checks for job applicants.

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Tip #1: Be fair across the board.

If you require a criminal records check for one applicant—require them for all applicants, if you are legally able to do so. Being fair, in this case, is less about being just and more about protecting your company against a potential lawsuit. If you pick and choose the applicants who must submit to a criminal records check, you are opening yourself to someone filing a lawsuit due to discriminatory application practices. If you are legally unable to require a criminal records check for every applicant, be sure that you maintain clear, lawyer-approved ground rules for when you can require that an applicant consent to a criminal record check.

Tip #2: Ask for the right kind of documentation.

Depending on national and local laws, you will be required to submit different types of documentation when you submit a criminal records check. You may be required to obtain certain documents from the applicant, such as a proof of identity, residence, or even social documentation like credit card reports or statements. If you are unsure about exactly what documentation you will need to provide, consult your local criminal records bureau for further clarification or an umbrella body authorised to perform criminal record checks. A failure to provide the right documentation could result in your records check taking significantly longer than previously estimated, at the very least.

Tip #3: Always require records checks when dealing with vulnerable persons.

If the job position you are taking applications for involves working with vulnerable persons—including, but not limited to, children, the elderly, and disabled individuals—then you should always require a criminal records check. In fact, in many areas it is illegal for companies to not submit a criminal record check for applicants who would be working with any type of vulnerable persons. Even if you are not legally required to do so, however, it is in the best interest of your company and the people you are providing services for to ensure that applicants have a clear criminal record.