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If you handle personnel matters for your company, Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know should be on your desk. The joint FTC-EEOC publication offers dos and don’ts for businesses when looking into the background of prospective employees or current staff up for promotion, retention, transfer, etc. But if it’s time for a compliance double-check, the FTC just issued a new brochure that could serve as a cross-reference.

Background Checks: Tips for Job Applicants and Employees is written from the perspective of (obviously) the applicant, but it’s still worth a read for business executives. Why? Two reasons. 

First, the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s approach to background screening is based on transparency. The law gives job applicants and employers specific rights and responsibilities. For example, as a general rule, employers can look into the background of people they’re thinking of hiring, but the FCRA mandates certain disclosures and procedures outlined in the FTC-EEOC brochure for businesses. That’s where the new employee-focused publication can serve an a useful cross-check. Seeing how we describe the law to applicants may help with your compliance efforts.

But there’s another reason to read the new brochure. Maybe you plan to collect that gold watch after 50 years with your company, but lots of people doing the hiring today may be the ones contemplating a career move tomorrow. Background Checks offers a reminder of what the process looks like from the other side of the table. One tip: Visit annualcreditreport.com – the place to exercise your right to free access to your credit report – to see what’s being said about you out there in Infoland. Before sending your resume, take steps to correct any misinformation that could torpedo a job offer.

 

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