It’s always exciting to find a candidate who seemingly checks all your boxes. This makes it even more surprising when they fail your standard background check. Whether they were dishonest about their criminal past, padded their education history, or failed a drug test, you can’t ignore these red flags.

Of course, there are always exceptions. It’s possible the candidate simply made a mistake or the issue at hand isn’t a deal-breaker. Every situation is different so give it a careful review before making a final decision. Use this advice to properly handle the situation.

4 Steps to Take When a Candidate Fails a Background Screening


Check Your Screening Policy

It’s possible your company screening policy will outline exactly what to do in this situation. For example, if you discovered the person has a criminal history, industry-specific regulations could prohibit you from hiring them. In this case, there’s no more room for discussion.

However, the policy could also state that the portion of the background check the candidate failed wasn’t essential to pass in the first place. For example, if you discovered the person has poor credit, but realistically this shouldn’t impact their job performance, you could possibly still hire them.

Send a Pre-Adverse Action Letter

Candidates have a legal right to know they failed the background check and consequently might not get hired. Put together a pre-adverse action notice, a copy of the background check, and a copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under Fair Credit Reporting Act,” and send it to them. This will give them the opportunity to contest any inaccuracies and answer your questions.

Hear Them Out                                                                           

Often times, candidates will have a good — and truthful — explanation for issues found on their background check. You have a legal obligation to let them speak on the matter, and doing so can help you make the best possible hiring choice for your team.

Make an Employment Decision

After getting the full story from the candidate, you’ll need to make a choice that might not be an easy one. Follow your company policy and managerial instincts to decide if the candidate is the right person for the job.

Need a little help filling an open position at your Northern Indiana/Southern Michigan company? Wood Staffing is here to guide your search. Contact us today to get started!