Performing a thorough background check before hiring an employee not only helps you select great candidates but it’s also a legal mandate. Companies are routinely held responsible if their staff members do something illegal during office hours. More often than not, it boils down whether the company performed necessary background checks before hiring that particular employee.

For example, people who sign up to become Uber or Lyft drivers have to consent to a necessary background check. If these checks are not consistent with the state’s laws, the companies can be sued for damages if something goes wrong. Following are 6 things you need to keep in mind when performing background checks online.

1. Written Consent from the Applicant May Be Required to Check Certain Information

Most state laws require companies to acquire signed consents from candidates before performing background checks. In most cases, companies need to furnish a separate document dedicated to acquiring the consent for background checking. In other words, they cannot just make candidates sign a general form, where the details of background checking are one of many other points.

2. It’s Important to be Consistent to Avoid Discrimination Charges

It can be deemed unethical if you perform background checks randomly. It can be considered as systemic racism or sexism if only a certain group of people are subjected to background checks. If you are planning to introduce background checks, it’s critical to maintain consistency. The only way to do that is by performing a background check of all candidates using the same online tool with the same search parameters.

3. Checking Criminal History is Only One of the Many Checks You Should Perform

A lot of employers think that background checking is all about finding out the criminal history of a shortlisted candidate. While that’s one important aspect there are other things you can find out using an online background checking service. Among other things, you can verify a person’s educational qualifications as well as contact details.

4. It’s Important to Rely on a Reputed Background Checking Service

The quality of background checks varies significantly based on the online service you choose. Different online background searching services search different databases to create reports. If you want updated information, it’s best to rely on quality background checking services such as Veromi. Veromi checks multiple databases and generates reports that are up to date and accurate.

5. Perform Relevant Searches to Sidestep Legal Problems

Companies can be held legally responsible for conducting searches that are not relevant. For example, looking up a person’s credit history or medical records may be deemed unethical in some industries.

6. It’s Always Best to Check the State Laws Regarding Background Checks

Different states have different laws related to background checks. You might also be held responsible for your actions following a background check. Some states such as Pennsylvania and New York mandate companies to submit a written statement if a candidate is disqualified based on his or her past criminal records. Companies need to specify how the candidate’s past criminal history is going to impact the job he or she is applying for. There are laws related to the timing of the background check as well. Some states prohibit background checking unless the candidate passes the first round of interviews.