Small Business Brief

Safety & Loss Prevention

8 Things to Know About Running Basic Background Checks on Employees

It’s always exciting to see your business grow as you hire new employees. To make sure you’re hiring the right people, here’s what you need to know about basic background checks.

You think you have the perfect applicant in front of you.

They show you a great CV with work history, have experience in the field, went to the top university, and they graduated at the top of their class.

So, what’s the problem? A criminal conviction, two misdemeanor charges, a few bar fights, and they’re late on all credit card payments owed.

Before making the mistake of hiring the ‘perfect’ candidate, you should rely on essential background checks and pre-employment screening to find the right fit.

Here are 8 things to know about running basic background checks on employees.

1. What Can You Learn?

When properly conducted, background checks and pre-employment screening can teach you plenty about applicants who are lined up for a position. Some things which these checks will review include:

  • Criminal history: If the applicant has ever been arrested for a felony, has any misdemeanor convictions, or is on the list of registered sex-offenders, this information is presented to you.
  • A glimpse of their finances: Checks will review financial records, credit history, incurred debts, among other information.
  • Verification: The background check will ensure the person you are hiring is who they say they are (DOB, financial statements, bank records, address, social security checks, etc.).
  • Recent employment history: This will give you a glimpse of places they’ve worked, and whether or not they are as qualified as they say they are.

2. Smart Hiring

Background checks and screening before hiring a candidate allows businesses to hire responsibly, and actually choose the person who is most qualified for a job.

For example, you don’t want to hire a person with financial crimes or fraud in their past to work with bank clients who have millions of dollars in investments with the institution. Nor do you want to hire a registered sex offender to work in a child day care or camp.

The truth of the matter is hiring the wrong applicant can cost your company a great deal of time, money, and investments.

But, it’s not only the financial loss of training and investing in bettering your company, but also your company’s reputation which can be lost, if you don’t hire responsibly.

3. Trends Favoring Background Checks

It’s possible that employers who have been working for a long period might find the modern era of background checks and people search interesting. They will probably notice that among their competitors, processes like these have become standard.

People who are applying for jobs are often surprised when employers don’t require background checks of any kind or anything similar.

However, many experienced employers will have vivid memories of the days when extensive background checks were less common. Some of them might find the associated shifting standards jarring as a result.

4. Pre-Employment Screening and Technological Changes

Obviously, the increasing popularity of background checks in the modern world is related to both recent technological and social changes. The job market has only gotten more competitive over the years.

Employers will have to find a way to narrow down very long lists of potential applicants.

The advantages associated with pre-employment screening are clear. The fact that this process can make it easier to decide on a potential job applicant is really just an added benefit for many people.

Of course, employee background checks are largely more common today because new technology has made them easier to conduct. This is one of the many reasons why more experienced employers might still be in the process of getting used to them.

5. Updates to Workplace Standards

Experienced employers are already used to coping with a wide range of technological and social changes. Some of them might remember the days before they had to maintain an online presence at all.

They might have hired many employees in the past without screening them according to modern methods and standards.

In retrospect, experienced employers might wonder if they could have prevented certain workplace issues by running more background checks in the past. Other people might wonder how they managed to have such good luck for all of those years.

6. How to Turn Professional Background Checks into a Benefit for Your Customers

People are always leery when they hear about background checks. Part of this is because everyone likes their privacy. No one wants their potential employer looking too far into their personal history, no matter what the reason is or what their personal history includes.

But a bigger part is because most people don’t know what specific background checks entail. There are too many technicalities and acronyms for consumers to comfortably know the limits of the check, and that makes them suspicious.

Reassure your employees by having easy answers about the limitations of professional background checks.

Here are three things they’ll feel more comfortable knowing:

Is Everyone Is Subjected to the Same Screening?

Make it clear that a background check is a standard part of your procedures. Whether your company is a recruiting business, a credit card service, or a management company, your employees don’t want to feel like they’re being singled out.

So let them know what type of background check you’re using and which employees are subject to it.

The FCRA Regulates Background Checks

Employees and applicant need to know that your use of professional screening service protects them. The FCRA has policies that ensure more accuracy and protect people’s privacy.

By getting a stamp of approval to move forward instead of relying on references’ word of mouth, they’re getting a fairer review. They can fix inaccurate information.

Part of the problem employees have with background checks is that they seem mysterious or immutable. But a professional background check is also a good way to make sure their official records are accurate.

The screening includes a thorough appeals process so employees can get to the bottom of inaccurate information, false identifications, and potential identity theft. Because professional checks uphold this appeal process, its easier to prevent a bad, inaccurate history from following them around.

7. What To Look For When Selecting A Background Check Provider

Background checks are one of the most critical aspects of choosing an employee. Employers have to make quick decisions on a regular basis.

That is why choosing the right background check provider is so important.

Here is what to look for in a background check provider.

Overall User Experience

After all, the overall user experience makes all of the difference when it comes time to select a background check provider. Knowing what to look for is what keeps us from potentially making a decision that will cause us to experience some form of remorse later on.

Accuracy of Information

The background check provider should be able to offer the most accurate and pertinent information within a short period.

Otherwise, the property he employer could make a decision that is based on information that is not accurate. This is the type of choice that could lead to a lawsuit later on, and that is just one potential pitfall.

Speed and Affordability

Are the services being provided at a cost that is truly acceptable and are they being offered in as timely of a fashion as possible?

Time is of the essence in these scenarios, and no client wants to spend additional monies to ensure the speed and accuracy of their findings. The background check provider should also be willing to answer all questions. This is a pivotal aspect of the overall user experience.

8. Integration Of Background Checks To Other Platforms Is A Must

When a contract is being signed, a background check is one of the most crucial steps that need to be taken. However, there is still a wide range of platforms that have not integrated these checks.

Unless all of the human resources, risk management, and compliance professionals involved have taken the time to do so, the process becomes more difficult.

Every platform that is going to be involved in the decision-making process must be willing to take the proper steps as far as the integration of background checks is concerned. The more parties that need to complete the checks without the usage of an integrated system, the longer it is going to take for the process to be completed.

Effective Basic Background Checks

Businesses should heavily rely on the best screening companies to perform in-depth evaluations of applicants before ultimately deciding whether or not that applicant is truly the “perfect” fit for the team.

You can’t be too trusting of applicants vying for top positions with your company. To ensure you hire the best person and don’t end up continually wasting money on training and new hire expenses, implement basic background checks, screen applicants, and help your company avoid making a huge mistake in the hiring process.