We'd all like to believe that everyone is honest and acting with integrity, but in reality, many hiring situations show otherwise.
What if a seemingly top-notch job candidate applying for a bus driving position has several DUI charges on his driving record? Or what if that Controller candidate really wasn't a CPA, as her resume claimed, but instead held a two-year business degree? The potential costs of hiring these two candidates could be high - even dangerous in the bus driving case - yet these individuals may be quite convincing during the interview process.
That's where background checks can help. But which ones should you include in your employment screening process? It really depends on your industry and the job you're trying to fill. Here are three common examples:
This is often the first step in a background check. It asks the question: "Is this candidate who they say they are?" It could include checking the validity of their social security number and any death filings against it as well as obtaining a list of previous addresses and phone numbers used by that person. If any discrepancies come up during this check, information gathered can be used for further research into a criminal check, for example.
Checking criminal records often puts safety first. Although it's seldom the first step in the job hiring process, they're usually conducted because of identity verification issues or as an automatic check for those who will be put into a position of trust or authority. Such positions could include: coach, teacher, driver, or personal care attendant, for example. Many federal and state laws require that criminal background checks be performed for certain jobs - particularly those who work with children, the elderly, or the disabled. Many government contractors also require security clearance of all employees, since they have access to classified or sensitive documents.
Reference background checks include employment verification, education verification and driving record checks. According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), among member companies polled, 76 percent conduct some type of these checks on new employees. These employers said that 60% of the time inaccurate employment date information was given by candidates, 42% of the time adverse information not reported by their subject surfaced on a driving record, and 40% of the time degree or education information was found to be inaccurate.
Why check? More than half of the group said they performed checks to reduce the organization's legal liability for negligent hiring.
No matter which types of background checks you choose to conduct, be sure that you are following the rules under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), which powerfully protect individuals from discrimination.
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