Christian Moore, Negosentro | The Ultimate Guide To Background Checks | For employers, accurate information is critical in the hiring process. Details such as educational attainment, work history and criminal background carry significant weight as employers choose the right person for each available position.
Unfortunately, many applicants fail to tell the complete truth. Some even knowingly provide false information in an effort to land a job. When employers act on inaccurate information, they may unwittingly extend offers to unqualified people, which can wreak havoc on businesses in a number of ways.
Many employers use DBS online tracking to help ensure that they receive correct information about job applicants.
The Reasons for Background Checks
Checking for criminal records ranks as one of the most-frequent reasons employers conduct background checks before hiring individuals. However, employers also have various other reasons.
Background checks help employers reduce the risk of hiring someone who provides incorrect credentials — which can include college degrees, professional licenses and certifications, and academic courses required in specific fields. In addition, employers can confirm details of an applicant’s prior work history — including positions held and job duties.
Employers also use background checks to help them comply with state and federal regulations for some jobs — such as medical professionals, teachers and caregivers for seniors.
In addition, employers can face litigation for negligent hiring if they fail to conduct background checks and an employee goes on to damage property or injure someone.
Elements of a Background Check
Background checks can include multiple elements, and employers can choose and customize the information they receive. Although the information included varies by state, background checks typically include criminal records — which can encompass arrests, convictions, and any penalties paid or sentences served.
In addition, employers may wish to include driving records — especially for jobs that require a staff member to operate a motor vehicle on company time. Social Security numbers also may be included so that employers can verify an applicant’s identity.
Most background checks will include employment history. Past places of work, positions held, job titles, dates worked and any disciplinary actions may be included in a background check report to an employer. A background check also may include contacting references and reporting their comments to the employer.
State or federal laws may require that an employer receives permission from an applicant before requesting educational history — other than any degrees the applicant earned — as well as medical records. Permission also may be required for some records regarding military service.
What Should Applicants Know About Background Checks?
For jobseekers, information obtained through background checks can significantly impact future employment prospects. Applicants who believe their background check reports include incorrect information should point out the errors to the prospective employer.
In addition, applicants should dispute the information through the companies that conduct the background checks. Businesses may conduct background checks in-house or may contract with third-party providers. Applicants should notify employers when filing disputes with outside companies.
Within five business days following investigation completion, applicants should receive a report about the findings. Applicants also may request that background check companies send reports to employers with whom they have recently applied.
To prepare for background checks, jobseekers should review their credit reports and check their driving records as well as criminal history. In addition, applicants may wish to view previous personnel files, and they should notify individuals who may be called for references.
Applicants also should consider cleaning up any social media accounts and online references to potentially damaging information.
Employee turnover can mean significant costs for businesses, and most employers prefer to avoid hiring unsuitable applicants. Pre-employment background checks help employers contain costs of staff turnover while limiting the potential problems caused by unqualified workers. For jobseekers, taking proactive steps to review information that may appear in background checks can provide an edge in competitive hiring environments. For even more information on background checks and why they’re so important for employers and job candidates alike, consult the following infographic.
Author bio: Christian Moore is COO at Global Verification Network. He has more than 20 years of investigative and business experience with competencies including surveillance, competitive intelligence, pre-employment and course-of-employment background screening.