Most employers agree that a background check can be a crucial final step to ensuring a candidate is right for the job. One way for you can balance competing concerns about background checks is to consider carefully what information you need to select suitable employees. Here are six steps you can take to help ensure your background checks identify potential problems without adversely affecting protected groups: 1. Obtain written consent before conducting any background check, including simple reference checks. 2. Perform checks as one of the last steps in the selection process. 3. Perform background checks relevant to the position being sought. 4. Conduct criminal conviction checks only on candidates who will be in “positions of confidence.” 5. Evaluate results fairly and consistently. 6. Restrict access to information obtained in background checks.