Once upon a time it might have involved the use of private detectives. Now, conducting background checks is a little more straightforward.
Sure, there are various legal hoops to jump through. For example, you have to have a reason for a background check – and can’t delve into a person’s credit history if it’s completely unrelated to the role you are advertising for.
However, if done correctly these background checks can be worth their weight in gold. Let’s not forget that companies can waste tens of thousands of dollars if they make a wrong hiring decision, and a background check can at least mitigate this risk somewhat.
It can be difficult to imagine exactly what can be found in a background check though. Through the course of today’s article, we will take a look at some of the checks that companies can do, to safeguard themselves against possible bad hires.
The criminal background check
This is one of the primary checks that can be used, and it’s for good reason. As soon as a person is convicted of a crime, an employer can find this small detail through a background check.
Of course, whether or not they should discount a candidate for a criminal record remains a debate. Sure, if the offence was serious and relatively recently, most would suggest that it might be a good idea. However, if a significant amount of time has passed, many believe that employers shouldn’t take this into account.
It’s worth highlighting the difference between a criminal record and an arrest warrant record. The latter cannot be used in employment background checks, for the simple reason that individuals are classed as innocent until proven guilty.
The financial check
This is one of the more niche checks that are open to employers. Unless your business is based in the financial industry, or if you are taking on a financial role, there’s probably no reason to invest in one of these background checks. In fact, legally speaking it will be questionable if you opt for this path.
Of course, if you do work in this sector, finding out whether a person is financially responsible might be a key part of your recruitment process, particularly if their role is going to involve them investing on behalf of your company, or even handing out financial advice.
Something that is applicable to the majority of job roles comes in the form of education verification. For a long time, candidates could say what they wanted about their educational background. After all, very few companies were going to take the time to question a university if a person really did achieve their stated grades.
Now, these checks are much easier. The results can be returned exceptionally quickly, and this means that a company can find out if a person really does have the required qualifications for the job that they have applied for. It makes the filtering process for candidates much more efficient for HR managers.