Hiring a new employee is a lot of pressure. If you don’t choose the right candidate, you could be hurting more than just your practice; a poor decision could affect your other employees and your patients, as well. Because of this, conducting a potential employee background check is always recommended.

Below we discuss what you should and should not do during this process.

Be Thorough

How to Conduct an Employee Background Check

You will want to look at the whole spectrum of an applicant’s background. This includes their education, employment and criminal record, along with their driving history and social media posts. It is important to get a broad picture of a person before making a decision, as companies can pass on a great candidate if they only look at one specific item.

You also want to prevent being the target of an Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) investigation if you exclude an applicant who has a criminal record, regardless of the charge or how long ago it was.

Don’t Include the Box

You probably remember filling out a job application or two and reading the question “have you ever been convicted of a crime?” Forcing someone to check off this box without giving them an opportunity to explain the infraction further can lead to discrimination. Running a thorough background check provides more information on past crimes.

Follow The Law

There are right ways and wrong ways to complete a background check. You must have a legal release form completed and signed by the applicant, informing them of their rights. The laws about background checks vary based on federal, state, local and job-specific requirements. Make sure to check with your company’s legal counsel before you start in order to ensure you follow the process correctly.

Be Consistent

If two applicants apply for the same job, it is important that you complete the same searches on each. While different job titles may require different levels of investigation, any variance for the same job can be seen as discrimination. Having a written process can help ensure the same search is run for all candidates.

Finding the right candidate is something you should not take lightly. Doing a proper background check is an important step in the process.


The Association of Otolaryngology Administrators has more than 1 thousand members and continues to be the leader in otolaryngology practice management. AOA serves their membership through successful resources and services offered while striving to keep pace with future opportunities.

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