Today, Energy and Utility companies face a dire need to stay secure and functional. Each establishment must comply with NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation), DOT (Department of Transportation), and state and federal laws. For that reason, background checks are necessary to help ensure that prospective personnel are trustworthy for their industry roles.

Background Checks

Doing background checks is critical in the hiring process of every company. Employers must confirm that the information their applicants provide is accurate and reliable. That is to prevent any potential problems in the future caused by bad hiring decisions.

How It Works

Companies may use third-party solutions to execute background checks. Also, they may check other aspects, such as calling references.

Below are examples of background checks that apply to Energy and Utility industries:

  • Education Verification

Exaggeration of educational attainments is one main area of fraud on resumes or application materials. To verify academic credentials, employers or agencies will contact academic organizations to validate the degree that each candidate indicates. Getting information on GPA (Grade Point Average), certificates and degrees earned, and major studies is important.

  • Employment Verification

Employers typically verify where applicants have worked. Some previous companies may answer specific questions, but others limit themselves to only providing employment dates.

  • References

Employers may communicate with former coworkers or managers. However, Laws regarding reference checks may vary from one state to another. Generally, previous employers may discuss an applicant’s work as long as they comply with anti-discrimination laws.

  • Physical Exams and Drug Screens

According to the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, about 27 million people over 12 years old claim to have used drugs within a 30-day range. As a result, there is a high probability of narcotic abuse in several organizations.

That being the case, companies must require physical exams and drug screens for safety reasons. Moreover, physical exams must relate to the job description.

  • Motor Vehicle Records

According to the National Safety Council, approximately 40,000 deaths each year are caused by vehicular accidents. Employers spend billions annually to cover employee accidents. To minimize accidents and expenses, employers must gain data on their employees’ driving history and conduct.

  • Criminal Background Investigation

Criminal background investigations seek to search for criminal offenses, not arrests. As expressed by the EEOC (Equal Opportunity Employment Commission), “Federal law permits employers to ask about a candidate’s criminal history. However, federal EEO regulations forbid employers from discriminating against applicants when using criminal background information. Using the said information in making employment decisions must not go against the Civil Rights Act of 1964”.

  • Credit Checks

If an occupation involves handling money or security, doing a credit check is crucial. Nevertheless, employers must provide written permissions to do credit checks on candidates. Also, the same rule used in criminal background checks applies in performing credit checks, especially when making employment decisions.

Final Words

To remain secure and functional, companies must execute background checks to get the information they need to make knowledgeable hiring decisions.

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