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Background Checks on New Hires

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The only procedures we have in place for background information on new hires is to pull a credit report and verify references.Can you please share with me some other sources/avenues that you would use in doing background checks on employees?

A Background Investigations Program should be conducted on an "initial and continuing" basis. The intensity of the investigation also should depend upon an employee's or a contractor's level of responsibility and access. For certain positions, updating information every three (3) years may be appropriate -- and examples include:

  • Teller
  • Note clerk
  • New accounts representative
  • Groundskeeper

For other positions, updating information every year is more appropriate. Typically, positions that contain responsibilities for the management of assets or property -- or those positions that have "secrecy provisions" -- may cause the institution a more substantial loss. Examples of those positions include:

  • Board of Directors or Supervisory Committee;
  • President;
  • Chief Financial Officer;
  • Chief Information Officer;
  • Chief Lending Officer;
  • Human Resources Manager;
  • Security Officer;
  • Legal Counsel;
  • Auditor; and
  • Janitor if he/she is an employee.

Pre-Employment Checklist
Many institutions furnish job applicants with pre-employment correspondence that contains a checklist of the applicant's "things to do and know about" before employment will be offered. This checklist is a valuable tool for the background investigator because it reduces the number of investigations that he/she has to conduct. If an applicant cannot afford this level of scrutiny -- or is unwilling to furnish the requested information -- he/she will simply not apply for the position. The pre-employment checklist should vary according to the position or project applied for, and it should include:
For Institution-Affiliated Parties

  • Accreditation or license validation (initially if the position requires credentials);
  • Account waivers (initially for checking and savings account review, with an emphasis upon the first 90 days, then periodically);
  • Code of Conduct (initially, at the time of promotion and annually);
  • Credit check (annually and at the time of promotion, including bankruptcies, liens and judgments);
  • Criminal history check from the last two counties of residence (initially and periodically for a marginally-performing person);
  • Disclosures that address privacy issues -- and employee rights and obligations (initially, at
  • the time of promotion and annually);
  • Driving record (initially and annually for all persons who operate a vehicle while working for the institution);
  • Drug screen (initially and upon the display of objective symptoms);
  • Employee handbook (initially, at the time of promotion and annually);
  • Financial statement (initially and annually);
  • Fingerprints (initially);
  • Handwriting (initially and every three years);
  • Photograph (initially and annually); Reference validation (initially); and
  • Waiver advising of unannounced searches of institution-owned property including (initially, at the time of promotion and annually):
    • Facility;
    • Computer;
    • Desks; and
    • Vehicles.

For Non-Institution-Affiliated Parties

  • Accreditation or license validation (for each new project if the position requires credentials);
  • Better Business Bureau check (for each new project);
  • Business license and appropriate certificates and permits (for each new project);
  • Code of Conduct (for each new project, if appropriate);
  • Confidentiality agreement (for each new project);
  • Criminal history check on all principals (for the initial project and periodically for different types of projects);
  • Drug screen (for the initial project, if appropriate);
  • Employee handbook (for each new project);
  • Financial statement (for the initial project, if appropriate); and
  • Reference validation (for the initial project).

First published on 1/17/05

First published on 01/17/2005

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