Employment Screening 101: Pre-employment Credit Reports-Part 6

Jason Morris

We have written frequently about the use of credit reports in employment screening. While the use of these reports is somewhat controversial, when used appropriately, they can be extremely beneficial when making hiring decisions. We never recommend using the employment credit report as the sole decision not to hire someone.  It should simply be reviewed to get a snapshot of an individual’s personal responsibility.

Employment credit reports are recommended for “C” Level Employees, anyone in Finance & Accounting, those that deal with financial records or large amounts of cash, and those that have access to sensitive information. There are also specific industries that mandate an  employment credit report and those should be followed as well.

The search will produce a full credit report from one of the three nationwide credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and, or Transunion.  This report offers insight into the applicant’s reliability and a sense of their personal responsibility. Reports include derogatory credit information, public filings (bankruptcies, liens and judgments) as well as previous addresses. This can be another great tool for identifying other counties that the applicant may have lived and is especially useful for companies whose candidates will have check-writing privileges or other access to company funds.

Some States have limitations on the use of credit reports. This article was posted to our website a few months ago with some examples. I am also enclosing a link to a great article we wrote on Frequently Asked Questions about pre-employment credit reports.

We recommend stringent oversight in investigating other Title VII issues raised with the EEOC when credit reports are used for employment purposes. Your employment screening firm should be able to offer guidance on all these issues! Stay tuned to employeescreen University for more articles on this subject.

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Jason Morris

President & Chief Operating Officer at EmployeeScreenIQ
A veteran screening and risk management professional, Jason Morris founded EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999 and acts as the company’s chief operating officer and president. Morris is a frequent speaker delivering captivating, interactive discussions on background checks, global screening, recruitment and staffing. He educates audiences in best practice initiatives as they relate to organizational employment screening programs. Morris has been quoted in numerous business and industry publications including The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, USA Today, New York Times, among others. He is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
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