Background Checks – What Employers Really Need to Know

Background Checks – What Employers Really Need to Know

Q1.What is the significance of running background checks on potential employees?

Recent surveys have revealed that about 40 – 45% of candidates dupe their employers by putting wrong information in their application form, either to embellish credentials or hide career blemishes. In such a scenario, it is imperative for every organization to subject their candidates to pre-employment screening. Choosing to overlook the same, for any reason whatsoever, can make the workplace vulnerable to money embezzlement, theft and even workplace violence.

Anyhow, even if a candidate passes the interview with flying colors, it’s no guarantee that the facts he stated in his application are true. Background checks consist of a thorough verification of those facts. Post screening, if the information comes accurate, the employer can get the candidate on board and no one gets to lose. However, if the information turns out to be inaccurate, the employer can always step back and deny him/her the position. Thus, pre-employment screening is a win-win scenario for any employer.

Q2. What are the different types of background checks?

What are those exact details employers want to know while running background checks on prospective employees? The answer differs from industry to industry, largely depending on the job specifics.

However, the most common types of background checks are as follows:

  • Criminal Checks to reveal any record of felonies, convictions or misdemeanors conducted in the past.
  • Employment Verification to confirm the applicant’s employment with current and past employers.
  • Drug Screening to discern whether the applicant has been involved in drug and alcohol abuse in the past.
  • Education Verification to confirm the qualification and accreditation listed on the applicant’s resume.
  • Credit Report to identify candidates with a poor credit record.
  • Social Security Verification to prevent any chances of identity fraud.

Q3. What is a pre-screening interview and how to go about conducting it?

Pre-screening interview precedes background screening process and let the employers match the applicant’s qualifications, experience and goals with the job position.

Pre-screening interviews are usually conducted via phone. Conducting it via phone has several advantages. First, it saves a great deal of time and second, it reduces the eventual costs of hiring. An ideal pre-screening interview consists of automated pre-screening questions, not more than 5 in number, and doesn’t last for more than 20-30 minutes. It effectively screens out those candidates that do not meet the criteria of the job profile. Once it is done, it is much easier for the hiring managers to make an in-depth assessment of the qualified pre-screened candidates.

Q4. Should you run background checks on your own?

When it comes to running background checks on applicants, employers often have a dilemma: Whether to do it in-house or take the services of a screening firm.

There are many online sources that make it possible for employers to pull out an applicant’s information. However, doing so might put their organization at risk primarily for three reasons –

  • Unless the checks are done by a credible background screening firm, there’s no guarantee that the information so gathered is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Before running background checks on prospective employees, the employers need to have a thorough understanding of its legal and ethical nuances.
  • Pulling out an applicant’s information on their own can be quite time consuming and cumbersome for employers.

Considering the above, it seems the smarter option is to hire the services of a professional background screening agency.

Q5. What is the role of Applicant Tracking System (ATS) in background screening?

ATS is a software application, designed to help companies make their hiring process smoother, more streamlined and error-free. Apparently, integrating ATS with background screening can be very useful for saving costs and minimizing the bad hiring. But to enable a seamless integration, a healthy coordination is needed between ATS vendors and background screeners.

ATS uses a single platform to perform a wide range of functions through the recruitment process.

  • Posting job openings on an online portal
  • Screening resumes and sending interview calls to selected candidates
  • Individual applicant tracking
  • Automating data feed
  • Validating data
  • Addressing any shortcomings
  • Compiling and sharing results

Q6. What’s the need of conducting international background checks?

Surveys have revealed that almost 25% of the international applicants use false educational and employment credentials. That’s where the need of conducting international background screening arises. Basically, the answer to why an employer needs to run international background checks can be summed in two points:

  • To avoid negligent hiring – If an employer hires a candidate who turns out to be unfit or unqualified for a job, posing a danger to other employees, it is counted as negligence. Such an employer can be sued for negligent hiring. Not to mention the bad hiring costs he ends up incurring.
  • To follow compliance with the law – U.S. employers need to show due diligence in hiring international applicants, simply because post 9/11, the U.S. government has become especially vigilant in such manners and need the employers to be compliant with the standard hiring practices.

Q7. How important is performing background checks on summer interns?

Most of the employers undermine the importance of screening interns, primarily because of two reasons, the screening costs involved and the short duration of internship. But if they care to delve a bit deeper, they will realize that the screening cost will always be lower than the cost of bad hiring and as far as the duration is concerned, the negative impact a bad hire leaves on the organization can outgrow the duration for which he/she worked for the employer. As an employer, if you are sceptical about whether or not to screen interns, you need to ask yourself the following questions.

  • Do they have access to your valuable assets?
  • Do they get any authority in company’s financial transactions?
  • Will they be dealing with old-aged, children or women?
  • Will they handle company funds or other valuable assets?

And not just these; even if the internship revolves around shadowing existing employees, the company is sharing its sensitive information with interns. If the answer to any of the above is yes, then there’s no reason why a company should slacken in performing background checks on interns.

Q8. How often do people lie on background checks?

When it comes to background checks, it is critical for employers to discern fact from fiction. Even more so, when falsifying information on resumes has become commonplace. The statistics are surprising. Almost 40% of the candidates falsify some information in either of the two ways –

  • Hiding some details related to past records of felonies or misdemeanors
  • Embellishing credentials regarding qualifications, salary or job position

Q9. How background screening has changed over the years?

Background screening industry has grown leaps and bounds over the years. At present, it is a largely a technology-driven industry. A decade ago, applications used to be faxed or e-mailed to the screening company. But now the applications are directly uploaded by the candidates on Applicant Management System. This seamless integration with technology has made the screening process, easier for the candidates and more efficient and effective for employers.

Q10. Why choose us as your screening partners?

At Private Eyes Inc., we are committed to help you make right hiring decisions, fast and smart. Here’s what sets us apart from other screening companies.

  • The ‘HumanTouch’ – What makes us truly different is the way we engage our customers. We make sure a live person answers your call, everytime you reach out to us.
  • Quick Turnaround Time – We are committed to provide comprehensive screening report with a turnaround time of less than 72 hrs.
  • High Accuracy – We boast of <1% dispute rate. Further, any request for inaccurate information is dealt within 24 hours for speedy results.
  • Expertise – Our team of expert professionals deploy the right resources to delve deep into the prospective employee’s database.
  • Leading Technology – We have integrated technology with our screening procedures, devising smart investigative tools that streamline the process and minimize errors.

Let our difference be your advantage!