How to do a Real Background Check

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How to do a Real Background Check

Screening candidates is an important step when it comes to keeping your business safe and secure. Background checks help in vetting your applicants more thoroughly than reference checks and social media screening. They also help to creating and maintaining safe working environments for all employees. Here are our tips to keep in mind when evaluating your current background check methods. You might consider making adjustments to your methods to avoid a costly mistake due to hiring the wrong person.

Look at more than just Criminal History

It may be important to be aware of a candidate’s criminal background, but that is just one of many records that can be uncovered using background check methods. Different background checks include credit history, driving records, civil history, employment history, educational verification, professional license checks, and more. Different background checks may be useful for different positions depending on the nature of the job and the importance of a candidate’s particular history in relation to their success in a role. For instance, an accountant with poor credit history might be a red flag. No matter which background checks you choose to carry out, it’s important to remember that background checks can go beyond a criminal history report.

Verify Resume Info

While it may be possible to verify facts from a resume during a reference check, it can also be done using a background check method to give you more thorough and accurate results. A Harris Corporation survey says 60% of employers have discovered inaccurate information on a resume. Luckily, there are background and verification checks designed to look into education, employment history, and professional licenses. Candidates who lie on a resume about their professional background, education, or qualifications can quickly be ruled out with a background check. Calling up past employers can help you get some idea about the quality of a candidate, but references tend to be more reluctant to share information because they’re unsure of what they can or can’t say. An employment history check is more concrete.

Run Checks on Existing Employees

Most background checks happen when screening candidates for a job or at the beginning of the onboarding for new employees. However, the best background check policies make room for ongoing checks of existing employees. A background check is only informative up to the point in time when it is performed. As people continue through life, things can change and unexpected incidents can crop up. Running background checks on existing employees every few years can help to ensure that your business remains a safe and secure environment.

Know the Laws surrounding Background Checks

It’s important to know if your background check methods are compliant with both federal and local laws. For example, all credit information must be collected by methods suitable under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA), and in Philadelphia, employers may not make a credit history inquiry unless the position to be filled falls under the exceptions listed in Philadelphia’s Fair Practices Ordinance. In Pennsylvania, employers may only consider felony and misdemeanor convictions when using an applicant’s criminal history to inform an employment decision. All employers in Pennsylvania, both public and private, must assess whether a candidate’s convictions relate to their suitability for employment in the role they have applied for. In most states, employers are required to notify candidates in writing if they fail to pass a background check, and then given a chance to dispute it. These laws are intended to protect candidates from employment discrimination, and they must be understood by employers in order to avoid any legal issues surrounding background check and screening methods.

Background checks can sometimes be skimmed over to save time and resources, but a less than thorough background check could be cause for a major hiring mistake. Background checks are useful in many ways and can be personalized depending on the role you are looking to fill. Criminal checks can help to ensure you maintain a safe workplace while verification checks can give you information that would be otherwise difficult to confirm, such as employment and education history. Investing in good information can save the cost of a bad hire.

This article is not legal advice and employers should consult with an attorney for any legal advice regarding background checks.

Bradley Staffing Group is a full-service staffing firm based in Wayne, PA. We are committed to matching A-level talent with best-in-class businesses. Our knowledgeable and well-trained staff brings a combined 70+ years of staffing experience to our clients and candidates alike.

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