Checking a Candidate’s Criminal Record is Just Good Business Practice

Employers must always use caution when creating application forms and interview questions that are used as part of their respective hiring processes such that they do not discriminate, or even appear to discriminate, against any individuals or groups. It is commonly accepted that asking for information about age, marital status, sexual orientation, ethnic background, religious beliefs, etc. is not permissible due to the potential of excluding candidates on the basis of typecasting or bias – but what about criminal offences? This is where criminal background checks are useful.

Criminal Record Check
Criminal Background Check

On the surface, asking candidates to disclose if they have any history of criminal offences in their backgrounds would seem to be an important part of the information-collecting process as employers prepare to make hire-or-no-hire decisions.  But this too is a topic that must be broached very carefully by an employer, in order to keep within the principles of permissible questions and not to put a candidate in an awkward position when responding, i.e. what is considered a criminal offence?

As an aside, many candidates would likely not know that breaking a provincial law, such as speeding or careless driving is not considered a crime, thus may be unsure how to respond.

However, it would still be beneficial to confirm whether any candidate does have a criminal offence, or offences, on their record; this is just good business practice to ensure that your other employees, and perhaps your clients, are not working alongside an individual who has convictions for such crimes as:

Criminal Record Check
  • Theft/Robbery
  • Violence/Assault
  • Drug/Alcohol Abuse
  • Driving While Intoxicated

Therefore, even though a candidate does well during the interviewing process and looks like a promising new hire, it would be advisable for the employer to make a conditional job offer pending the results of a criminal record check.

Access to a Common Database Used by Canadian Law Enforcement Agencies

Canadian Police Information CentreRightFit Plus has the ability to perform criminal record checks on behalf of any employer.  This is accomplished by utilizing the Canadian Police Information Centre, or CPIC, database, accessed by RightFit Plus through a Canadian Police Force.  The CPIC database is managed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and is used by all law enforcement agencies in Canada to verify criminal records.

It is very important to note that RightFit Plus can perform a criminal record check only upon receipt of consent form signed by the respective candidate.

The criminal record check is used to confirm whether a person has ever been convicted of any criminal offence in a court of law and for which a pardon has not been granted; note that such pardons are now more commonly referred to as record suspensions.

Although the significant majority of criminal record checks will likely return clean histories, it is possible that surprises can happen when least expected. Taking the extra step to conduct criminal reference checks through RightFit Plus’s access to the CPIC database can deliver an added measure of confidence for your hiring decisions.

If you would like to learn more about our capabilities to complete criminal record checks as a part of your candidate assessment process, call RightFit Plus today at 1-888-604-4951 or contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our representatives.

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