How to make background checks in pre-employment easier on your business
A background check during pre-employment, also called a “personnel search” or an “employment verification”, consists of screening and/or verifying someone’s personal information. This is typically done as part of the hiring process to ensure that only trustworthy people are hired for certain jobs.
For instance, employers may conduct background checks for positions such as daycare workers, security guards, school bus drivers, nursing home employees, policemen or policewomen, and more.
The type and focus of a background check depend on the kind of job in question as well as local laws and regulations.
Why are they important for pre-employment screening?
Background checks help protect organizations from liability by ensuring those hired for certain positions are suitable and trustworthy. When a background check is not conducted, the risk of hiring someone with criminal ties or reprehensible behavior may be high.
A thorough background check can help employers know more about potential employees’ backgrounds and determine their trustworthiness in terms of character, behaviors, and capability.
What pre-hiring background checks are there?
There are many different types of pre-employment tests that can be used as part of a screening process. They include the following:
- A criminal record and sex offenders check
- Sanctions, Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and adverse media checks
- Employment history, education, and references
- Credit reference checks
- Age, residency and proof of address
- Driving records i.e. points on a license, disqualification
- Social media accounts/online presence (if any)
How do employers use the results of a pre-employment background check?
These background checks are used to determine whether an applicant possesses the skills and abilities for a certain job, as well as if they are suitable choices for employment.
Knowing of any prior criminal activity or other black marks on someone’s record can help employers better predict if they will be successful in the position they’re applying for. It also helps them figure out how much training may be needed to ensure that the worker is able to perform tasks effectively.
Employers may use this information when making their hiring decision, after considering all other qualifications provided by a candidate and comparing them with other candidates’ qualifications.
The pros and cons of conducting these checks
Background checks can provide opportunities for both applicants and employers alike: Applicants receive access to jobs that otherwise may have been unavailable to them, while employers get more information on applicants and may be able to hire successfully.
However, background checks can pose problems for applicants as well. For instance, these checks sometimes contain inaccurate or outdated information about an applicant, which can lead a hiring manager to make false assumptions about how they will perform in a job.
This is why it’s important to discuss any discrepancies found during a background check with the applicant so that proper questions or corrections might be made before final decisions are made.
3 Tips to make the process easier on both employers and applicants
Employers need to remember that background checks exist to help them make informed hiring decisions based on the candidate’s history with no regard to any social or demographic factors.
When considering which candidates are most likely going to be successful in a certain position, employers must focus only on those related factors rather than anything else.
Employers and employees alike should consider following these 3 tips for conducting effective background checks:
1. Equal employment opportunities
It’s vital that all candidates be given equal chances at applying for jobs and interviewing for positions, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or other factors.
A background check, as well as any other job interview, should be designed to help employers make a hiring decision based on each candidate’s individual qualifications for the position.
2. Stay up-to-date on applicant information
Regularly updating criminal and credit reports will help ensure the accuracy of this information and keep an employer from making false assumptions about an applicant.
It’s also important to work with a reputable company that offers comprehensive services (i.e., social media searches) so you can get the most informative results possible in these areas.
3. Last but not least: include an ID verification up front
ID verification services are essential for employers as part of any background check process. By integrating an ID check from the start, employers can ensure that their records are accurate and up-to-date.
In some jurisdictions, identity checks are mandatory due to legislations i.e. Right to work (UK), and collecting ID documents and verifying individuals is a prerequisite for employment.
Verifying ID’s can also prevent your company from spending a lot of resources on conducting a full background check.
Because if someone is lying about their identity, this verification step can help you avoid wasting time and money on potentially irrelevant results.
Even the simpler background checks can quickly set you back over €50, while an ID check can be done from only €1,50. Why take the gamble?