What Does Decisional Mean On A Background Check?

Conducting the pre-employment background screening is a critical screening step in hiring an employee.

Whenever an organization hires a new employee, it invests its time, money, and resources. 

Different companies have their own criteria for conducting background checks, but the primary goal of each company is to select the best candidate for the job and protect the patrons and staff from applicants who pose a risk. 

However, a poorly executed background check shows negligence, slows time to hire, and delays onboarding which could harm the company’s reputation and can even lead to lawsuits and settlements. That’s where a decisional background check comes into play.


What is a Decisional Background Check?  

A decisional background check is a process during which the employer uses an automated screening matrix, known as a hiring/decision or adjudication matrix, to evaluate the results of the candidate’s background against the company’s background checking policy to help filter out candidates eligible for hire. 

A decision or adjudication matrix is a form or a table with the names of criminal offenses that a company reviews to review which crimes need review.

The process of adjudication helps the company identify the candidates eligible for the job or decisional. 

The employer’s hiring team manually reviews and makes the final decision regarding the eligibility, based on the assessment of the candidate’s application materials, the background checking report, and a review of all available information, and passes the applicant on to the hiring manager for further consideration. 

What Does A Background Check Show?

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How Does It Work? 

An effective hiring/decision matrix follows the unique requirements of every organization, job specifications, and applicable local, federal, and state laws and regulations.

It pre-determines the offenses that require assessment and management approval before a final hiring decision.

It then digitally analyzes the different components of background checks, such as criminal searches, verifications, and more, based on the pre-set guidelines and then reverts the background check status as “eligible” for hire or “decisional.” 

Some major considerations include a review of the job requirements as per the job description.

The review of the nature and severity of the crime, the work to be performed, the time elapsed after the conviction, and any other pertinent factors. 

If the background check comes back “decisional,” it shows that you are eligible to be hired for the job and only requires a decisional review by the employer about the final hiring decision. 

Eligibility Rates Across Different Industries 

The candidate eligibility rates vary significantly across different industries.

Their regulations may dictate that certain criminal offenses are disqualifying for certain positions, and candidates must recognize what is acceptable and what is not in the industry they want to join. 

The highly regulated industries, such as childcare, healthcare, or any other organization that serves vulnerable populations, follow quite strict guidelines when hiring new employees and typically have relatively low eligibility rates and higher decisional rates, and the background check adjudication process helps these companies comply with the industry regulations.


We hope this article helped you in understanding what is what does Decisional means in a background check.

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