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Employers do not have it easy right now. The hiring process has always been expensive, often costing employers thousands of dollars in time and expenses, plus the cost of having a position remain unfilled for weeks or months. Between the exodus from the job market generally and the increase in overall costs from the pandemic fallout and world events, employers are struggling more than ever to find good job candidates.
The last thing an employer needs is to go through the considerable time and expense of finding and onboarding a new hire only to find out that they chose the wrong person. Bad employees, especially those who are untrustworthy or unethical, can be a human resources nightmare and can potentially do lasting financial and reputational damage to your company.
Hiring managers in Indiana who need to get hiring right the first time to keep the business going and growing, and to prevent organizational risks, need to conduct an Indiana background check on every candidate before they are hired.
What Are Background Checks Exactly?
A background check is an investigation to make sure that a person is who they say they are. Typical background checks will verify a person’s identity, their employment history, their education, and any licenses they claim to hold. Some background checks go further and look into criminal records or financial issues a person may have. The main reason to conduct a background check in Indiana is to ensure that the person you are thinking about hiring is actually the candidate you believe they are.
How to Get a Background Check in the state of Indiana
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If your job candidate is supposed to have a professional license, such as nurses, accountants, realtors, or home inspectors, the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency can verify the candidate’s license for you. However, they are unable to provide the majority of what employers need to fully vet employment candidates, including information from other states. A perusal of an applicant’s LinkedIn profile and resume aren’t enough either since that information is just the candidate’s word for who they are and what they have done.
Employer’s best option is to use a background check service provider who is skilled at conducting specifically an Indiana background check for employment. They will not only be able to conduct the background check in a legal and ethical manner, but they will also be able to provide insight and guidance as to the types of questions the employer may want answers to that they hadn’t known to ask.
Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks
Every Indiana employer should understand that when you conduct criminal background checks, Indiana and Federal Laws apply. Every Indiana background check, even quick background checks must comply with all of these laws.
The two main Federal Laws to know are FCRA and Title VII. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which is the federal law that people’s private information is fair, accurate, and protected. It limits who can see what of a person’s private information. Employee background checks are covered by this law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires that background checks be used fairly and not to discriminate against candidates based on their race, gender, religion or other characteristics.
Below is a quick overview of the relevant laws. Please speak to your professional background check service provider for more information.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was designed to restrict access to people’s personal, financial information. A company who wants to run a credit check on prospective employees, for example because that person will have access to or control over some of the company’s money, must get a candidate’s written permission before conducting the investigation.
Employers who decline to hire a candidate based on what they see in the candidate’s credit history must tell the candidate that this is the reason. Primarily, this is because the FCRA also wants to ensure that the information that goes into every credit report is accurate. People need to be able to check what their credit reports say in order to correct any errors.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 helps ensure that job applicants do not face discrimination based on certain protected characteristics. These characteristics include race, color, gender, religion, and national origin. This law applies to background checks because the law does not want employers to use background checks to discriminate during the hiring process. For example, giving only black candidates background checks prior to hiring, but not candidates of other races would be unlawful and discriminatory. The easiest way to comply with Title VII is to conduct the same background checks on all candidates for a particular job.
Background Check Laws in Indiana
Indiana permits pre-employment background checks. In fact, some occupations require a background check as part of the licensing or hiring process. For example, teachers, hospital administrators, bank employees, and daycare workers must submit to background checks.
However, all employers and the reputable background check service provider they hire to conduct Indiana background checks must make sure that the way they are conducted complies with state and federal laws. Employers also must use the information gathered in an ethical and lawful way. Failure to follow relevant laws could result in fines, lawsuits, and negative publicity for your company.
Indiana employers are allowed by law to consider an applicant’s “limited criminal history.” Even when you use a professional background check service provider, Limited Criminal History Searches are conducted through the Indiana State Police. This includes felony and Class A misdemeanor arrests. Depending on how long the applicant has resided in Indiana, the type of employment being sought, may be eligible or require an Expanded Criminal History Search.
Obviously, since an Indiana State Police background check includes felony and Class A misdemeanor arrests, they also include convictions. Criminal background checks can extend back through a person’s entire life. Expunged and sealed records will not appear, nor is an applicant obligated to disclose expunged or sealed arrests or convictions.
Ban the Box
Ban the Box laws are designed to prevent employers from unfairly discriminating against candidates with criminal backgrounds. They typically require a company to wait until the application has been screened and the first interview is conducted before doing a criminal background check.
Indiana background checks are no longer limited by Ban the Box regulations, except for hiring within the state’s Executive Branch. As such, an employer who wants an Indiana criminal background check to help screen applicants is free to do so, so long as they follow the other relevant laws.
Expunged & Sealed Criminal Records
However, Indiana employers are not allowed to ask if the applicant has had records sealed or expunged. Applicants have the right to withhold that information and deny that they have been arrested or convicted if the records were expunged.
What Shows Up on an Indiana Background Check?
Depending on what the employee will be doing, what licenses or education are needed, the level of trust involved, and other factors, employers work with Indiana criminal background check professionals to create a customized list of items to be included in the background check. These are some of the most common items employers ask for.
If a prospective employee has a criminal record, the employer can see things like the date of the arrest, what the person was charged with, how the case was disposed of and when. If the person received a sentence, that along with the criminal case number, is viewable.
One of the really useful services for background checks is to have the investigator verify the applicant’s employment history. This can be a time-consuming thing for human resources and hiring managers to undertake. Under Indiana’s service letter law, former employers are obligated to share the time frame when the employee worked there, what their job was, and why they left, so long as the applicant agrees to it.
Indiana background checks can verify when and where an applicant attended college. They can also confirm whether the applicant received the degreed that they claimed to have in their application.
How Many Years Back Does a Background Check go in Indiana?
An Indiana background check has no limit on how far back a criminal check can go, nor how far back verification of an applicant’s education or work history can go. The FCRA does impose a seven-year lookback limit for many positions; it does not apply if the salary of the job exceeds $75,000.
How Much Does a Background Check Cost in Indiana?
*a select number of states charge an additional, mandatory, county court fee in addition to our standard service fee.
Please reach out if you would like a quote for background screening services.
Employers who are only interested in a criminal background check can expect to pay about $15 for the state to provide that basic service. Although the state’s ICHAT system costs only $10 per report, the results of that system can be unreliable. ICHAT reports are not legally compliant for positions requiring background checks.
Since so much of what an employer needs to know goes beyond whether or not the candidate has been arrested, and the information is of such value to employers, it’s worth it to pay a bit more for highly reliable information that is legally compliant, such as what PreSearch provides. Like all services, the more information and service you want provided, the more the service package costs.
How Long Does it Take to Complete a Background Check in Indiana?
Legal and reliable background checks in Indiana are fast and easy when you use a professional company, such as PreSearch. Because you can count on their findings, employers only need to do one check per applicant in order to have peace of mind.
Why Look To PreSearch for Background Check Services in Indiana
Employers can’t afford to hire the wrong people. If you need highly accurate answers about who your applicants are, don’t trust anyone but a well-established expert. PreSearch will get you the information you need quickly, reliably, and in full compliance with Indiana and federal laws. PreSearch takes the hassle and worry out of verifying your applicants, allowing you to focus on your business. Count on us to provide the screening you need to make successful hires.
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