Tips on Instituting a Criminal Background Check at Your Company

Tips on Instituting a Criminal Background Check at Your Company

Every large company has some form of criminal record background check system for new hires. Many smaller businesses, however, either do not have one or have only partially implemented one. If you fall into either of the latter categories, here is some implementation advice.

Understand Why You Are Doing It

If the only reason you are implementing a criminal background check system is that other businesses are doing it, rethink your plans. You want to have the reasoning why you are implementing the program clear in your own mind or you will never be able to explain why adequately to your employees.

Understanding why and being able to explain it, though, is important. If you do not, it will raise questions in some employees’ minds. If you implement it company-wide, it can lead to a sense by employees that they are not trusted.

Understanding fully why you think this type of a program is a good idea is key to being able to get buy-in from your employees.

Define What It Entails

Part of understanding the “why” is only accomplished by defining it clearly. That means you need to take the time and outline the need, proposed solutions, possible obstacles or challenges, accepted solution and policy Development.

The Need: Clearly state why you feel this policy is needed and how it will help your company produce better products and achieve better customer service.

Proposed Solutions: Regardless of what you choose, you must define every aspect of any solution, including training form implementation employees.

Obstacles and Challenges: These are impediments to the successful implementation of the policy. For example, if you are implementing a companywide criminal background check and a particularly good employee has a criminal record, how will you handle that situation?

Accepted Solution: Select the option that best serves your company.

Policy Development: These are the tactics that help run the program selected. They include, but are not limited to screening requirements, vendor, results consequences, privacy procedures, appeals, etc.

Legal Review

Your final policy should go through a legal review to ensure it is not violating any civil, employment or privacy rights.


The degree to which this is publicized withing the company is solely up to the owner and management team. The goal is to make everyone that needs to know about the policy aware of it. A complete explanation is needed if you are implanting it company-wide or company-wide for selected positions.

It was probably always needed but having a criminal record background check system in place at least for new hires is a necessity today. By following the tips above, you can make sure your policy rolls out with no hitches.

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