People search – checkpeople: The legal thresholds when recruiting


To say that the recruitment sector has turned on its head over the last few years would be an understatement. Once upon a time, it was a simple process of submitting a CV and sitting an interview. Now, all sorts of other metrics have been brought into the picture.

We’re not talking about the innovative group interviews that some companies orchestrate either. Instead, today is all about the decision-making process itself, and how some organizations are turning to a people search – checkpeople service, to help them along their way.

Unfortunately, there are a few legal issues to contend with when you make use of background checks and through the course of this page we will talk about just how far you can go when you look through a person’s history.

Online information is completely legal

Let’s start with one of the easiest forms of information to get hold of. Nowadays, most people have a social media account and if you were to ask most employers out there, the majority would say that they have checked these accounts to see just what the person really is like behind the CV.

Well, here’s some good news. You are completely entitled to do this. It means that you can access a wealth of information without any form of restriction. This doesn’t just relate to social media either; the general laws state that if information is easily accessible from a search engine, you are completely entitled to use it.

You need consent for credit checks

There are a few more restrictions with this next type of check and any prospective employer who is looking for medical records needs to exercise at least some caution whilst doing so.

The law states that if an employer wants to obtain information about a person’s credit, they need written permission to do so. Considering the fact that this is federal law, it means that this is applicable in every state and there are no exceptions. In fact, in some states the laws even get tougher. For example, in Illinois, they are even more particular about just who can access this sort of information.

Should the employer opt to not recruit a person based on their credit, under law they have to inform them of the reason why. As well as this, they need to tell them the details of the bureau who provided this information.

Some medical history is OK

In terms of medical records, this is again something that an employer needs to be very careful about. Medical records can only be obtained if there is a correlation with the employee’s ability to carry out the job in question. For example, if you were applying to be part of the military, it stands to reason that your medical history is important.

In addition, the Americans with Disabilities Act means that it is illegal to discriminate against any employee based on their medical history or any disability they have.