How to Thoroughly Background Check Your Employees

September 14, 2022
When making hiring decisions, it is critical to ask yourself, “Do I know the person I’m letting into my company?”  While resumes and interviews help gauge a candidate’s credibility to a certain extent, it’s well-known that many things can still remain hidden behind these facades.  Background checks help companies verify a job candidate’s education and employment history, and determine whether they have any criminal record history, among several other things that could otherwise go unnoticed.  Through background checks, businesses can ensure the safety of their workplace and customers, and prevent risks of fraud in the future.  But how exactly can companies be thorough with their background checks? What key elements do you need to run efficient background checks? Read on to understand. 

Have a Consistent Policy 

A thorough and consistent policy is a guiding light for running various fair and transparent background checks. It helps ensure a smooth background screening process, avoids any litigation from federal agencies, and prevents any instances of misconduct in the workplace. A well-crafted background check policy includes three critical things:
  • Who needs what type of background checks. You may be running background checks throughout your company. However, these checks prove ineffective unless they are designed by keeping specific positions in mind. For instance, positions involving finance might demand credit checks whereas positions involving motor vehicle operation will require motor vehicle record checks. 
  • When the background checks need to be conducted. Whether they should be conducted before, during, or after the hiring period. And should they be conducted only once, every year, or every quarter?
  • How the results of these background checks align with your employment decisions. For criminal record checks, the three critical elements to determine employment decisions include – the type of position, the type of crime, and the amount of time that has passed since the conviction (if any). 

Ask a Lawyer

To perform a background check, it’s important to abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). One of the many implications of FCRA includes obtaining accurate authorizations from the potential hires before you begin the background check. Laws surrounding background screenings may vary in different states or cities. Since background screenings reveal sensitive information about a candidate, it is typically best to talk to a lawyer to avoid the possibility of any legal issues. 

Determine Who Needs What Types of Background Checks 

While it’s a great practice to run background screenings to determine the credibility of a candidate, the job is only half done if you don’t tailor these checks to specific positions. For example, hiring a physician might require verification of their education and licenses for hiring a driver, you will need to check the candidate’s motor vehicle record. These sorts of checks are unnecessary if you’re hiring a cashier. 

Decode the Elements of the Background Checks 

Crafting and executing a background check program can be challenging. Here, a faulty decision can not only increase your litigation risk but also cost you financially. You may not be able to stop about 85% of people who lie on their job applications. You can, however, run precise background checks to eliminate unfavorable candidates. A thorough background check factors the following searches into the equation:

Social Security Check

Verifying the candidate’s Social Security Number (SSN) helps you determine whether the candidate has been truthful about their identity. It also helps unearth valuable information such as the addresses where the candidate has lived. This information can then help determine any criminal records associated with them. Companies can access social security records either through the Social Security Administration or the Department of Homeland Security. 

Criminal Record 

The goal of running criminal record checks is to determine whether the candidate could contribute to an unsafe work environment or pose a threat to the company’s customers. State, federal, county, and national criminal background checks help reveal any current or pending court cases, misdemeanor convictions, or felony cases associated with a potential hire. Common examples of charges include fraud, vandalism, embezzlement, disorderly conduct, or violent crimes. 

Credit Check

Companies can uncover a candidate’s entire credit history through an employment credit report. This includes tax liens, payment history, bankruptcies, recent credit inquiries, civil judgments, and unpaid bills in collections. Assessing credit history is critical for many jobs – especially when it comes to positions that are associated with financial decision-making, assets, and transactions. 

Drug Testing

Through employment drug testing, employers can extract any evidence of illicit drug use by a candidate. Drug testing must be an important element of employment screening if you aim to create a safe and productive workplace. 

Employment Check

Employment checks offer the answer to “How can I be sure the job history and experiences outlined by a candidate are valid?” Through an employment check, you can have an in-depth look at the candidate’s past responsibilities, achievements, and titles. It also helps you determine whether the candidate’s experience is valuable enough to align with the position you’re offering. 

Motor Vehicle Record 

Motor vehicle reports (MVRs) give an in-depth look into the potential hire’s driving history. This includes information related to DUIs, moving violations, and suspensions. Motor vehicle checks are especially important for positions that require the use of motor vehicles for work purposes. 

Have You Considered a Third Party for Professional Help?

While you can choose to run background tests on your own, the process typically comes attached with two drawbacks – excessive time consumption and a large room for risks. In some cases, you might even need to visit each jurisdiction’s courthouse, fill out lengthy record response paperwork, and wait several days for a response. As a result, you’ll end up losing valuable candidates to other companies or fail to receive accurate information which can in turn cause you to take flawed hiring decisions.  Quick and precise background checks often require professional assistance. Every business has unique screening and hiring requirements. These requirements typically depend on factors like company size, hiring volume, budget, size of the HR department, number of locations, background screening policy, and more. Through ComplianceLine, you can run the most precise background checks based on your industry, county, and position type with minimum processing times. 

To Sum Up

Background checks help make the hiring process more efficient and bring down the possibility of risks in the future. For the best results, it’s critical to run comprehensive checks and verifications on every candidate. Teaming up with a professional third party is often the best approach if your goal is to save time, acquire maximum accuracy, and minimize any future risks. If you’re looking for a way to run faster, more efficient, and highly accurate background tests on your future employees, you can reach out to Ethico.