Why Fairer Background Checks are a Must in Modern Hiring

3 min read

Background checks are an important part of the hiring process. But are they fair? Don’t let a criminal record become a life sentence for your job candidates.

In most cases, the information we look for in a background check might include any number of mundane things such as, confirmation of a valid social security number (to avoid risk of identity fraud) or driving records. The questions are fair and should be asked as a standard part of many a hiring process.

But legally speaking, there are several aspects employers shouldn’t consider when hiring an applicant including, discriminative views (race, sex, age, religion etc.), credit history, workers’ compensation claims and criminal records.

You may be wondering, “If someone’s got a criminal record why the heck would I want to hire them?”

Truth is, that “someone” could be any one of us. In fact, 1 in 3 American adults (yep, 30% of the US population!) has a police record. In other words, as many Americans have criminal records as college diplomas.

Obviously, employers are justified in wanting to hire trustworthy, responsible workers. But with that many people having criminal records, it stands to reason that valuable potential employees are being overlooked.

The worst part is, even having a minor criminal record is enough to create a series of chain events that can damage a person’s professional life, sometimes permanently. Here’s why you shouldn’t let an unfair background check stand in the way of a successful hire.

Are your background checks fair?

While most of us would agree that everyone deserves a second chance, criminal background checks can make it extremely difficult for former offenders to get jobs and as a result, many of them struggle with chronic unemployment.

After being rejected time and time again, a job-seeker with an arrest record could simply give up on the knotty process of job hunting as a way of sparing themselves the pain and humiliation — it’s a far cry from the truly human HR function we’re all striving for.

So, does your hiring process treat people with a criminal record fairly?

If you’re unsure, the answer is probably no. But don’t worry, there are some things you can do to bring a little justice back to your hiring process. A great place to start is to simply remove the question about criminal convictions from job applications (a fair chance hiring move known as Ban the Box). Instead, save your questions about a candidate’s criminal record for later in the hiring process and if it’s not directly relevant to the job, don’t ask.

Working toward a future of fair chance hiring is super important at Breezy, so we decided to made to make your life way easier when it comes to running fairer background checks on applicants and candidates.

Breezy + Checkr = Fairer automated background checks

We’ve partnered with Checkr to make sure you never lose another potential rockstar based on an unfair, outdated screening process.

breezy and checkr

Checkr’s employment background checks are fast, compliant and secure (all the great stuff you’d expect from a modern background check platform), but not only that, they’re customized for your industry. Now you can get compliant checks that don’t double-punish candidates that may actually be an awesome fit for your business.

In just a few simple steps, you can perform pre-employment screenings on final-round candidates straight from Breezy. It’s sooo easy to use: once you have your list of top applicants, simply order a background check directly from inside Breezy and Checkr returns your report in lightning speed. Brilliant, right?

Ready for fairer hiring? Try Breezy for free!

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