Traffic has become a universal nightmare for drivers across the globe. This is presently true regardless of whether you live in a big metropolitan city or a smaller town. As regular drivers often grumble, “Daily traffic can bring out the very worst in me”.
Given this scenario, it is critical to verify the authenticity of professional drivers. In fact, ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft – who together disrupted the entire public transportation industry which many are thankful for – have suffered irrevocable negative publicity for their lack of background checks.
This is also true when an individual or a company has exposed potentially dangerous drivers to vulnerable populations such as senior citizens, children, and women traveling on their own. Fortunately, an increasing number of companies, both public and private, have recognized this as an opportunity to streamline their screening process.
If you hire a professional driver or provide driving services through your company, read on to know the checks that can help you keep your drivers and your organization credible and stable.
Basic checks for all employees
When a job candidate applies for a position in your company, it’s prudent to conduct a basic list of background screenings in order to verify their credibility. This includes:
- Verification of identity, including name, address, date of birth, social security number, etc. If the candidate has lied or misrepresented any part of their identity, he or she could be potentially dangerous to your organization.
- A check on past criminal history. This can be done through an online (and often instantaneous) search on the national criminal database. With this, you will be able to easily uncover any criminal or sex offenses registered at the country-level. (For new employees, it is also recommended to get finer details, at state or county-level, which may sometimes not be captured or updated in the national database.)
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Specific background check for drivers
Given the nature of the job, the following additional screenings are suggested for drivers new to your organization.
- Verification of driving license. This is facilitated by an MVR or driver’s license report. Either check will help you discover his or her traffic violations and suspensions. Depending on the timing, nature, and severity of the violation, you may even feel justified in revoking a driver’s candidature.
- Check for drug abuse, through a drug screening process. Here, state-specific FCRA regulations will govern what you can use for the drug check (like a urine sample, or hair, or saliva, etc.). Also, there may be limitations on the kind of drug tests you can conduct, and the subsequent action.
- For instance, marijuana and prescription drugs may be considered legal in your state. Their presence in the drug test sample may hence be insufficient to withdraw a job offer. However, it is still perspicacious to conduct a drug test to bring in awareness of potential for intoxication, than to be completely in the dark on a candidate’s drug habit.
Periodic background check for drivers who are current employees
Employers often make the mistake of disregarding yearly (or periodic) screening, after the initial recruitment process. Again, this can be dangerous to your company’s credibility.
For instance, consider that a seemingly credible driver decides to drive out-of-state when on vacation, and is involved in a drunk-driving incident that did not end in a conviction. However, their license was still revoked only in that state.
As an employer, you will want to be aware of this development, and perhaps even address this with the employee, so this cannot repeated during his or her tenure with you. For this reason, it is best to conduct periodic checks on employed drivers and act in line with state-specific FCRA regulations in order to mitigate risk.