When to Disqualify a Candidate Due to Background Checks

Article written by The Legal Newsblog

When you need to make a hiring decision, you’ll find an instant criminal background check online is handy to have when you’re reviewing multiple candidates. The potential employee’s resume should fill in most professional blanks, but background checks can help you identify a trustworthy employee from a group of applicants. Still, if you need to disqualify someone over the results of a check there can be liabilities at stake if you’re not careful.


Most small businesses start in the home, so inviting strangers into your space is a good idea only once you’ve verified that person. Make sure you check with your state, and review its labor laws. This isn’t a comprehensive guide, but it will provide some important guidelines to consider throughout this process.

Be Clear

When you want to run pre-employment checks, the law requires you to inform the candidate that you are screening his or her background. Typically, you provide the candidate a form to sign that authorizes you to pull records. That form should contain a reference to the exact records you’re trying to retrieve, and how you plan to use that information. The more upfront you are prior to the check, the better your chances of resolving any differences amicably.

State What Disqualifies the Candidate

Another important rule to keep in mind is that you must provide a written statement showing why a candidate was disqualified. The same principles apply to tenant background screening too. You need to be clear about what portion of the background check came back as unacceptable to you and your company. You must also provide the candidate a copy of the background checks you ran, so he or she may review them. Be careful that you don’t disqualify a candidate due to accidental information contained in a report.

Reports strive for accuracy, but sometimes people change names or move and that creates confusion in tracking their credit, employment and criminal histories. Careful review of the records should help clear up your confusion, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. In those cases, ask the potential employee to clear up the miscommunication on their own and re-apply.

Final Thoughts

Some view background checks as an annoyance, and they can be, but they are a safety measure at heart. They cost only a small amount to run, but the payoff is huge when you’re looking at avoiding internal theft and poor management.
Tenant Screening Services, LLC has specialized in performing pre-employment checks and landlord credit checks for more than 33 years.