University of Oregon
Security and Risk Management
Obtain an employment application and background-check policies and procedures from your employer or a company with which you are familiar.
Write a 1,750- to 2,100-word paper in which you identify the strengths and weaknesses of a company’s employment application and background-check policies and procedures.
Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines. When writing your paper, be sure to separate paragraphs and each new section/category should be titled in bold. This will make for a very presentable, easy read. Also – prior to submittal – be sure to review anything the spell and grammar checker may have prompted. Numerous spelling and/or grammar errors will result in a loss of points.
Within the body of the paper, you must answer the following questions regarding the employment application:
Does the application provide sufficient information to conduct a background investigation?
What waivers does the application contain?
Is the same application used for all positions?
What revisions would you make to the application?
Additionally, within the body of the paper, you must answer the following questions regarding the organization’s background-check policies and procedures:
What checks are conducted?
What is the policy on drug testing?
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)?
Is a credit check standard?
Do background checks include interviewing previous and current neighbors?
Are references contacted and interviewed?
Is the background check procedure in place adequate?
What are strengths and weaknesses?
Do you have recommendations to enhance the process?
Security and Risk Management
When companies and institutions are hiring someone, they put into consideration several factors. Finding the best candidate for the position is one of them. However, equally important are the steps the institution takes to protect itself from cases of discriminatory hiring practices. According to Nixon & Kerr (2008), some employers tend to be keen in ensuring that the job offerings do not imply a “contract of employment” or otherwise they might end up paying damages if they fired the employee. In many circumstances, the Employee Hiring process may contain up to four documents that meet all of the goals. First is an application form which makes sure all the relevant information is duly filled by the applicant. Second is a waiver form that protects the employer from creating an employment contract. The third is a confirmation of the company’s employment policies and lastly is a brief of the post-employment information.
Nearly all organizations conduct background checks on potential candidates, and it has turned out to be a routine during a job application (Arthur, 2012). In some cases, organizations conduct more rigorous background checks, especially those that the job description involves working with individuals with specialized needs. Background checks have limits and employers are not a supposed to inquire any medical information unless there is a job offer for the applicant. Furthermore, they are also not allowed to check into the applicant’s genetic information that includes family medical history. Background checks should cover common aspects, regardless of the applicant’s race, color, religion, disability, sex, genetic information, or age.
Definitive background checks tend to be accurate, consistent, and legal. They must conform to all laws and regulations for a fair and unbiased hiring process. All hiring processes are expected to be in agreement with the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination at all cost (Arthur, 2012). Employers conducting background checks should only be aimed at reducing the possibilities of hiring undesirable employees. The paper will analyze the employment application and procedures in background checks at the Oregon University.
Sufficiency of information to conduct a background investigation
To see to it that employees intending to join Oregon University are well qualified with a greater potential of being productive and successful in their line of duty, the institution’s application form covers the basic information required to assist in a subsequent background check. However, according to my opinion, the application does not let the potential applicants to fill in enough information, not even employment references of applicants into the provided application form. Also, Oregon University allows the applicants to customize their details in their resumes. It is likely that it uses that information to conduct background investigations. There is an assurance that the Background investigations are carried out in agreement with the law.
Oregon University relies on the accuracy of data presented by the applicant in majorly in their resumes and partly on the accuracy of data filled in during the hiring process. The process, however, is prone to potential misrepresentations, falsifications, or omissions as it is up to the applicant to forecast and include information that would be necessary for the institution. On the other hand, the applicant may be at risk of being excluded from consideration.
Waivers covered by the application process
The University of Oregon stands out as an equal opportunity employer and is committed to recruiting and employing potentially qualified candidates for the available opportunities. The university is also committed to conducting competitive searches when recruiting either within or outside its existing workforce to obtain qualified applicants. However, the university recognizes the existence of situations where there may emerge compelling reason likely to call for a direct appointment. Such appointments are accepted from the general guidelines and are considered as waivers. In waivers, the hiring unit at the university chooses to carry on with an appointment without a competitive search either through a promotion from within or a direct external appointment. The waiver must be accompanied by solid reasons which have to be documented as per the university’s employment policies.
Adaptability of the same application for all positions
The University of Oregon has a standard application that is used by every candidate irrespective of the particular job posting. Employers use the employment application procedures to ensure that they obtain consistent data for prospective employees. Whereas the format for cover letters and resumes changes can be customized from person-to-person, the forms offered by employment application are intended to collect consistent information uniform for every applicant. The university’s employment application, therefore, offers a regular format with similar questions which have to be filled by all persons applying for the open position. The human resource management will then be able to compare applicant’s credentials listed in the same order. Comparing the credentials without a standard formatting will result to exaggeration and hyperbole.
It is certain that the University of Oregon’s employment application conforms to the employment law. All aspects of information required in the employment applications are acceptable. However, it would still be necessary to ask an attorney for a periodic review of the complete employment application with special attention to discriminatory issues. I would prefer that employees fill in application forms to include all relevant information rather than sending detailed CVs. The applicants will only need to follow the relevant application instructions, present their information in a neat manner and sell only their relevant skills.
Background checks and procedures
Confirming candidates’ previous work experience is far the most important part of background checks for the employer. It also helps in closing up the gaps where applicants are most likely to falsify information (Nixon & Kerr, 2008). Digging into candidates’ past may reveal insight into how stable their jobs were and the extent of their loyalty to their former employers. Before proceeding with the verification, employers are advised to obtain permission from the respective candidate. Candidates are free to deny the forthcoming employer permission of contacting the previous employer. In such instance, the candidate may be required to submit documents like the paystub or other relevant tax documents as evidence of their employment. The same can be considered when the employer is out of reach.
Candidates may have questionable gaps in their employment history for many reasons. Such reasons include maternity leave, pursuing personal businesses, education or incarceration (Nixon & Kerr, 2008). Candidates may make efforts to cover up these gaps by lying about their previous jobs. Others are also likely falsifying titles to woe for higher pay. Conducting employment verification is important in providing valuable background information about the candidate’s working habits, integrity, and attitude. The economy is rapidly gaining momentum and employers have to fill qualified candidates.
The checks that are conducted by Oregon state University
The routinely sought after in employee background checks by the university are Court records, Credit reports, Social Security number, Drug tests, Driving records, Character references, Property ownership records, Past employers, Personal references, and the Sex Offender lists. Some records like credit reports and drug tests require the applicant’s consent before conducting. However, they are still regarded as routine records that must be used when performing background checks. Regardless of the nature of the record, the human resource department of the University of Oregon always makes sure that the inquiry is relevant to the job.
Criminal Background Checks
The state of Oregon recommends any employer should not inquire about past convictions during job applications. However, in any case, they make such inquiries, it has to be limited to and related to the position in question and be considered a necessity (Nixon & Kerr, 2008). The university is always keen to conduct a search in the National Sex Offender Registry to ensure that the applicant is not registered as a sex offender
Employment History Checks
The human resource management of the University of Oregon verifies past employment in several ways. First, it uses databases as updated in company payroll records using Social Security numbers. They may directly contact the past employer to verify the employment. In normal cases, the past employer can only reveal information relevant to that company including dates of employment, job titles, and the candidate’s eligibility for rehire.
What is the policy on drug testing?
The laws regarding employment drug screening are different from state to state. Oregon state laws allow employers to test applicants irrespective of whether they have formally been offered a position or not but at their consent. Oregon state university has a strict Policy calling for a Drug-free Workplace. Drug testing facilitates the human resource management to nature a healthy and productive workforce (Oregon State University, 2016). Besides conducting the drug tests, Oregon State University has a drug-free workplace program, which monitors drug abuse in the workplace. Legally the Oregon state university has established it within its rights to screen out abusers before hiring them.
Motor Vehicle History Check
The university conducts motor vehicle history checks of the potential candidates as a condition for selection in a position that requires driving as a necessary function (Oregon State University, 2016). All other categories may, however, be subject to this check. The practices relevant to the motor vehicle history checks get conducted in a way that conforms to the University’s commitment to open recruitment and in accordance to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. Many government agencies are active in enforcing road safety rules. Oregon University focuses on ensuring that employees have undergone driver safety programs.
Companies primarily do credit checks to prevent or reduce any chances of theft (Arthur, 2012). It is assumed that perhaps people who tend to be under large debts are more inclined to stealing. The checks therefore potentially lower the liability for negligent hiring. Oregon state laws restrict employers from taking advantage of credit reports as a determinant during the hiring process. However, for employees who will have access to financial accounts, the University of Oregon has their credit checked.
Interview with previous and current neighbors
The University of Oregon conducts a neighborhood check for certain cases. In such instances, the investigators speak to current and past neighbors so as to find out whether the candidate was involved in any suspicious activity. Nixon & Kerr (2008) argue that the neighborhood check is however not meant to exclude any candidate from employment. It simply points to more questions that the employer might have asked the candidate to gain insight of their overall background.
Oregon University considers taking up references as part of the employment process. In fact, if a candidate receives glowing references, the hiring department is more likely to pay little attention to them. Employment decisions are based on many other factors. The references are merely part of the hiring process
Relevance of the background check procedure
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is in charge of regulating how employers go along performing employment background checks. Oregon University complies with all the regulations within the Act. Under the FCRA, the institution is typically free to carry out employment background checks as long as they are of business interest.
Recommendations to enhance the process
are genuine reasons that compel employers to proceed with employment background
checks. First, threats and incidents of violence at the workplace and second is
the risk of negligent hiring lawsuits that tend to be on the rise (Nixon &
Kerr, 2008). Oregon state university is obliged to protecting its workers and
students from any security risk posed by employees, and therefore the need for
a sound and efficient procedure. They should lay more emphasis on contacting
former employers when conducting employment background check. However, it
should be kept in consideration that any questions asked to former employers,
neighbors or references should be restricted to job-related issues. Information
brought forward by all candidates should be considered genuine and without
discrimination, unless proven otherwise.
Nixon, W. B., & Kerr, K. M. (2008). Background screening and investigations: Managing hiring risk from the HR and security perspectives. Amsterdam: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Arthur, D. (2012). Recruiting, interviewing, selecting & orienting new employees. New York: American Management Association.
Oregon State University, (2016). Office of Human Resources: Policies & Procedures. Retrieved from http://hr.oregonstate.edu/policies-procedures/employees