Let’s face it: no matter how fastidious we may be in checking out someone’s profile, job applicants continue to lie on their resume. The mistake, in part, also lies with the employer policies. A lot of regulations and rules prevent organizations from doing complete checks and many employers are also clueless as to which reports to pay attention to. Naturally, background screening can seem to be an extremely daunting task and with your extensive to-do lists, it often gets a backseat. So let us look at some easy and fail-proof ways to do employment checks.
1. Thorough interview and screening
A face to face interview as well as phone interview can be one of your first steps to ensure that the potential candidate is indeed who s/he says they are. When you meet the individual in person, several people from your organization need to talk to them. This will help you assess their professional capacity and let you know if they are being truthful.
2. Implement FCRA compliant screening protocols
Legally, you are allowed to look into your potential candidate’s background. You cannot simply run an Internet search on the individual. Rather; you need to ensure that all safety and regulatory liabilities are addressed while preventing privacy breaches in the potential candidate. Be extremely careful with the compliance act as failure to do so have been known to cost companies millions of dollars in negligent hiring.
3. Be mindful that screening costs money
Pre-employment background checks cost time, money and also involve a great deal of responsibility on the part of the employer. Therefore, it pays to have an expert on board who would know exactly what investigation is worth focusing on.
4. Know the rules and steps of legal compliance regarding background checks
Every organization should be aware of the following rules to avoid employee privacy breach, discrimination and only obtain relevant and accurate information.
- Provide written disclosure-Both current employees and potential candidates must be given a written disclosure that they’d be investigated and also that the results of such investigation might impact their hiring/employment.
- Job candidates and potential employees must sign an agreement that they allow the investigation.
- The potential candidates have a right to know their rights. They can also ask the organization/employer about the credit report agency that will be doing the investigation.
- It is best to have third party agency to run such reports. The employer can later analyze the reports.
- If the candidate asks for a copy of the report, the employer is legally bound to submit the same.
- Making the hiring decision– If there is some issue in the report, employers need to take additional steps within legal boundaries regarding denying employment.
- If the report is for a current employee, and the employer feels that there is substantial reason to fire or terminate employment, then a written notice must be handed to the employee in question.
- Note that there should be a waiting period of at least 4-5 days after serving notice, before taking any adverse reaction. This period can give the employee in question to respond to the notice.
- If the employee disputes the notice, the matter must be reinvestigated.
- Once all the above steps are completed, the employment decision can be made. If the decision is adverse, the employer needs to send a notice again to the applicant/employee.
5. Do a social security number trace
Employment background check companies often state that the number one fraud in job search is Identity theft. Therefore, employers need to obtain verification through social security search. To conduct this very basic check, employers can ask for social security number, photo id and driver’s license or passport copies.
6. Past employment checks
Did you know that ex CEO of Yahoo Scott Thompson was fired after 4 months of employment as he had embellished the degrees of his college education on his resume? Many applicants think that it is harmless to fib a bit on their CVs. However, to your organization, these little lies can cost a lot and harm organizational performance. It is a good idea to hire a third party agency to directly talk to the candidate’s educational institutes and businesses directly. Some companies actually take extra precautions to ask for other related names and contacts in previous employment to provide secondary feedback.
7. National, county and state criminal records
This is arguably the most important check which is also rather complicated. After all; it has a direct impact on the safety of your funds as well as other employees. Your organization needs to have clear rules as to where to draw the line and clearly define what your company values.
8. Sex offender lists
Background check for employment-what do they check? Sex offender checklist is a crucial one. This check is especially needed if your employees have to interact with kids. Again, your organization needs to discuss this beforehand with hiring managers and outline red flags.
9. Traffic violations
Background check employment history often looks into MVRs, especially if potential candidates will be driving. DUIs, numerous traffic tickets and accidents can be red flags that organizations need to watch out.
10. Terrorist watch list
This may seem extreme but is one of the necessary employment checks. Legally, you have to make this check as neglecting it can spell trouble for your business if the employee breaks laws whilst in your employment.
11. Credit report checks
These are sort of controversial checks and a lot of hue and cry has been based around it. However, these checks are necessary for employers to find out if the applicant has taken loans or has filed for bankruptcies etc. Naturally, before conducting these checks, state and federal laws require that you inform the candidate and also get written consent from them. Likewise, you’d need to give a copy of the report to the employee/applicant if you decide on taking adverse action.
12. Drug testing
Many organizations insist on this test as they can help prevent many issues like tardiness, thefts, acts of violence, attitude issues and productivity etc. This test depends a lot on the nature of your business. For example, if employees are to use heavy machinery or interact with children or even drive, then drug testing is mandatory. One can even do random drug tests to see what shows up but the individual must give written consent for the same.
13. Decisions decisions and more decisions
Now that you know what employment background check companies need to do, you will need to make several decisions. Find out who are the stakeholders. In some cases, everyone from the CEO may be involved but usually the responsibility falls on one individual. Discuss this matter with the board to see where everyone stands and accordingly assign the task to suitable hiring manager. Next, you can talk to third party background check professionals and discuss the options you have. You must also invest time and money in coming up with a stringent background check protocol. Depending on your organization’s size and requirements, it can help to hire an experienced background check recruiter for these needs.