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How to Properly Conduct an Employee Background Check

By Heather Brown
June 17, 2016

Hiring strong team members is the foundation to running a quality adult family home or assisted living facility.  It is essential for administrators to have a set procedure for the hiring process for many reasons including: making sure you are analyzing each candidate based on the same criteria, identifying the best ways to communicate with your potential new employees, and to have an understanding of the candidate’s background prior to working for you. The latter can be accomplished through employee background checks.

In order to conduct proper and complete background checks on employees, you will need to collect ample personal information, develop a process of what type of checks you want to look for, and have set criteria you are looking for to determine if the candidate is a good match for your adult family home or assisted living facility.

Step 1: Collect Candidate Information

Using a job application is the best method of collecting information from potential hires. A complete application should include the following items:

1.    Full name
2.    Social Security Number
3.    Current address
4.    Employment history
5.    Education history
6.    Certifications/Clearances
7.    Statement that verifies information provided is accurate
8.    Statement that acknowledges the consequences of false information
9.    Signature field
10.    Background Check Notification and Authorization- should be given as a SEPARATE document

Step 2: Develop a Process

Many states require adult family homes and assisted living facilities conduct fingerprint checks through state-approved agencies.  These checks will identify past convictions, citations, and history of abuse or neglect allegations. Along with these checks, it is also important to develop a system/procedure to identify any additional areas you would like information on. This procedure can be conducted by hiring a criminal background check company or by identifying the areas you want checked and conducting that check yourself.  The areas that should be included in a background check are:

1.    Criminal History- you can start this search by visiting The national Center for State Courts-
2.    Employment verification- contact previous employers to verify they were employed during the time stated.
3.    Vehicle Citations (especially important if the employees are transporting residents)
4.    Education verification
5.    What has the candidate shared publicly? This process starts with a simple search for the candidate on google. From there, you will be able to find what they have shared publicly on social networks.

Step 3: Set the Criteria for Candidates to Meet

Having a clearly defined definition of the type of team members you want in your adult family home or assisted living facility is the next step in the employee background checks.  This will be determined by answering the following questions:

1.    What are your state requirements on hiring? Who are you allowed to hire? Who are you not allowed to hire?
2.    What type of team members do you want to hire?

Following these steps will help you identify a clear and concise procedure for employee background checks. By implementing a set procedure, you will have a better overview of the candidates you eventually hire to care for the residents in your adult family home or assisted living facility.

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