DATE: October 3, 2019
CONTACT: Dan Klimek (888) 817-8282
Identify Why Your Organization Needs to Conduct Background Checks
This is probably the easiest and most obvious question an employer can ask themselves. If you are reading this, you are likely considering screening your applicants at a certain stage in the hiring process. Every company goes through this at some point, no matter how large or small. This is attributed to a number of things, not the least of which includes protecting your firm from a bad and costly hiring decision, the duty to protect current employees, the need to protect company data and resources, and the need to ensure the integrity of your candidates. It is understandable in today’s day and age that anyone with employees would want to know about past behaviors that can lead to future problems. Thankfully background screening has become commonplace for most employers. Unfortunately, bad hires count on a number of employers who do not screen their hires and hire strictly on how they feel about an applicant, creating potential problems down the road.
What Do You Want to Know About Your Applicants?
I’ll bet if you are calling around to background check companies, you have never been asked this question in these terms.
If you stop to think; “what are we concerned about in our applicant’s background”, you will likely come up with the answer to this one.
What matters about an applicant’s background that would prevent you from making an offer?
For some industries, this question is easily answered by regulation specific to who can perform certain professional roles. Your industry may have these types of guidelines in place, and if so, a qualified background screening company should be able to match you with the exact searches you need (in this case, skip to number 4!). Most industries don’t have specific background check guidelines and therefore it is up to the employer (you) to identify what you want to know about an applicant before hiring them. There are many options for employers to choose from; and so, to name a few of the most commonly requested searches, we have pasted this handy list below:
- Criminal Convictions
- Sex Offender History
- County Level Criminal Convictions
- Local Level Misdemeanor Convictions
- Driving Records
- Credit History
- Identity Verification (Name, DOB, SSN and Prior Addresses)
- Education Verification
- Prior Employment Verification
- Federal Court Records Search
- Bankruptcy Court Search
- Industry Specific Professional Licensing and Violations
- US Terror Watchlist
- Reference Interviews
Keeping in mind that this list is not all-inclusive and that there are many additional options available, it is important that along with having an idea of what you do want to know about an applicant, you should consider the information you may not want to know. By this, we simply mean, what type of records are you willing to overlook on any applicant. It is specific to note that this should be applied to any applicant to avoid hiring bias. If there are records that would not prevent your firm from hiring someone, we can help steer you clear of searches that might reveal that information. For example, if your applicant will never have access to a company car and has no job requirements to drive while employed, you may not select to see his or her driving record. The same applies to credit history searches and bankruptcy records. If these things would never disqualify someone from working for you, it may be best to leave those out of your background check.
Identify and Document the Information You Want to Know
Once you have a pretty good idea of what you do and don’t want to know about your applicants, it is a smart idea to document that list for a couple of reasons. First off, you will want to have it handy when you do select a background screening company, so you can best articulate which searches you want to be included and which you don’t. This brings up the topic of packages.
Clear and simple; if a background check company insists on a package of searches that they have pre-made; don’t buy.
This is your hiring process and you can decide what is to be included and what isn’t. A qualified company may have suggestions based on experience or your local area, but at the end of the day, these searches are for people you will be hiring and working with. Also, by documenting these searches and the criteria you will use to hire, you can help ensure compliance with anti-discrimination laws and create a fair and even hiring process that is applied across the board for applicants in equal roles.
Selecting a Qualified Background Check Company
What do we know so far?
- Pre-made packages are not helpful for most employers, and background checks should be designed for each individual employer, with the specific details about what they want to know about an applicant.
- There are a lot of search options available to an employer and consulting an expert can help.
- You as the employer are in control of the information that goes into your background checks.
- Compliance includes creating a background check that applies to all applicants for a specific role
What else makes for a qualified partner to screen your applicants?
- Customer service handled by actual expert background check investigators to help guide you through the process.
- A company that understands the specific compliance issues that might apply to your area and/or industry. This may include state-specific guidelines for background checks and in some cases, state-specific authorization and notification forms.
- A provider that uses only data directly from the source of the information you seek; not third-party data brokers or records repositories held by non-government entities.
- A company that will be honest an upfront about costs and turn-around times that doesn’t lock you into any duration of
Most importantly for any employer to know is that creating a compliant background check to deploy during your hiring process is a smart way to help reduce hiring risks. This process is very commonplace and with a good background check firm to partner with, you can ensure that you are obtaining the very specific information that is important to your individual organization to know before you make hiring decisions.
Dan is a Background Investigator with Background Check Central, a specialized employee screening and corporate investigation agency with global reach, based in Metro-Detroit. For information about Background Check Central’s services or for a complete bio of our team, please visit www.BackgroundCheckCentral.com or call directly at 888-817-8282