Society

Here’s everything you need to know about background checks

Terrific resumes and exceptional interviews make for paramount elements of decision-making when hiring a candidate for a job role in the company. However, it does not end at making a first great impression, something that Chandler bling often struggled with at job interviews in the iconic FRIENDS series. Acquiring a dream job goes well beyond a notable impression and can only be attained after passing the different employee screening checks. Fairly known, background checks and criminal record checks make for an essential piece of the job hiring process. Irrespective of the position of an employee, hiring a new candidate involves letting a stranger have full or partial access over data systems, assets, consumers and more. In an attempt to minimize any possible risk, every company today runs a background check during its hiring process.

The statistics on white-collar offenders are on the rise and the elimination of background check also compromises on the safety of the workplace. In fact, a study conducted by a private institution revealed that nearly eighty-five percent of the candidates provided false information during the interview process. It is true, a company can only thrive when it hires the best candidates. This makes the lengthy process of screening and background checks an absolute necessity. An organization cannot be positive about their hiring process while missing the imperative factor of employee background checks.

Without any further ado, here is understanding the elements that comprise background checks:

  • Essential of a basic background check
    There are several inclusions which make up a basic background check. A check that is not carried out in an effective process will only create complexes in the process of hiring. Moreover, it can also land one into a soup if a candidate is not considered due to inapplicable discriminating factors.
  • Consistency in the background check policy
    A background check is best conducted in a formulated flow that involves consistent steps to be followed. Background checks that involve a good flow reduce the chance of haphazard curations. Well, more than just hiccups, it can cause the eruption of legal issues in case of conducting certain checks only for persons from certain backgrounds.
  • Legal advice
    Most states put down laws that govern the kind of information which can be sourced through a background check, especially for criminal records. The unearthing of sensitive information that is not permitted can lead to legal issues for an employment background check company. Thus, it is essential to seek advice from a lawyer or advisor who specializes in this area of legality.
  • Space for error
    The background check for people can often be flawed or even outright wrong in certain cases. This may be due to the error that comes up during the process of data collection and the same cannot be completely avoided. It is imperative for a candidate to be given a chance for any rectification or explanation that can prevent incorrect exclusion.
  • Exclusion of information on character
    Understanding of character, attitude and more are not part of the background check. These factors are validated during the interview process; however, the candidate can be given an option to ask for details. The organization must comply with the request of the individual or they can seek legal advice in case of absolute necessity.

Additional options for background checks
In-depth background checks may be common for certain industries. This is when additional types of checks are employed to source more information and they include:

  • Credit reports
    Credit reports are sourced to understand the applicant’s ability to handle financial obligations. It also generates information about one’s previous addresses and personal information.
  • Driving records
    Driving record checks are usually conducted when hiring candidates for driving jobs. It brings a better perspective on the history of one’s driving capacity and the ability to take on the job.
  • Military service records
    This form of background check is specifically used when the military service of an employee affects the current application. This check cannot be conducted without getting permission from the concerned authorities.
  • Student transcripts
    Student transcripts are used when checking the performance of the applicant at school. The transcripts are sourced in many industries as they are very useful in understanding the academic performance of the candidate. However, student transcripts can only be sourced after getting permission from the applicant.

Employee’s permission for a background check
Employees do understand the importance of a background check for criminal records and other factors when joining a company. However, in the case of an external employment background check companies, an employee will have to grant written permission. This is especially true for extremely sensitive checks that include credit reports, military reports and access to school transcripts. In the case of reasonable request and denial of permission by the prospective employee, the individual may be excluded without further consideration.

Picking an employment background check company
Hiring the right employment background check company is imperative, irrespective of a small or large business. They play an essential role in ensuring the right checks are incorporated during the process of hiring. However, the proliferation of numerous background check companies can make it difficult to arrive at the right decision. Here are considerations that aid in making the decision easier:

  • Accreditation
    The background check company must be accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). Under this program, the procedures and the policies of the service are constantly reviewed. The areas of inclusion include the standard of verification, ethical industry practices, consumer protection, and ethical industry practices.
  • Information access
    The service must be equipped with the tools required to access information that the organization requires. A company that possesses the right tools will be able to effectively collate the required data for background checks.
  • Quick and clear reports
    The recruiting process cannot be prolonged or extended far too long. The company must be able to produce reports in a stipulated time period. Also, clarity and error-free checks are essential, or it could hamper and lead to missing on value-adding candidates.
  • Costs
    The costs are imperative to consider when choosing from the several employee backgrounds check companies. Several services are offered at exorbitant cost due to the several inclusions. However, the ultimate amount will be driven based on the type of checks required by the organization.
  • Customer service
    The employment background check companies must not only render a great user experience for the candidate but the job-generating organization too. For this purpose, it is essential to ensure that a service provider has a specialized customer service platform that can be conveniently accessed. There must also be a dedicated customer service agent who can help when there is a glitch in the process. A service with customer service in the form of live chat and phone service brings good value.

Are online background checks helpful and accurate?
For a company looking to employ a simplistic and inexpensive form of background checking, the online route can serve well. However, the service type is not always a complaint with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Online checks require one to fill the key information of the candidate into the data fetcher. The service platform then generates information of addresses, marriage records, social network profiles, criminal records, security number verification and more. There may be glitches however as the information is at the risk of being inaccurate. Also, this form of a check cannot be typically used for pre-employment screening.

Cost of background checks
Employment background checks companies will levy a cost that can range anywhere between $20 and $80. The final fees will be dependent upon aspects that include the amount of information which is required, the kind of information and the permitted time duration to conduct the check. Add-on information such as license verification, criminal records, credit record check and affiliation with previous institutions are likely to up the cost.

Are free background checks for real?
It is amazing to understand how much information or data is tangled up in the web space. Irrespective of how hard one tries to keep the past under wraps, there is enough and more that is achieved in the digital world. While there are several tools which spit out an entire report, one does have to pay up to access the same. Good news is that there is a way of conducting free background checks! Albeit, it will take up a lot of time and energy. The first step involves using major search engines. This search must extend beyond the basic search engines as the output will not be identical. It is essential to delve into the deep web too as it churns out surprisingly vast databases that include government archives and academic reports. The phone numbers can be searched through different search engines. However, a phone directory serves as the best aid when seeking the exact information. Typically, landlines numbers may be covered under directories. Checking cell phone numbers may require one to go through paid databases.

Another aspect that makes the process of free background checks easier is the treasure trove that is public records. Interestingly, public records bring forth information that cannot be accessed anywhere else and is widely used by private investigators.

However, there are certain functions of a background check that cannot be undertaken without possessing given tools and specialization. It can be effectively done only by private investigators or companies that do the same professionally. After all, these professionals and agencies are better-equipped and have a hold on more database records.

Different background check services for different industries
A question that looms, can one background check company serve every kind of industry? This factor is completely based on the ability or the functions of the service provider. There are some employment background check companies that have limitations or specialize in their offerings. On the other hand, there are some which possess the expertise to serve a wide range of industries. A business requirement will essentially dictate the kind of background check company that can be roped in.

What makes a federal background check different?
A Federal background check comes into the picture when one applies for a government job. But how different is a federal background check from the usual background check? Well, there are several factors that make them very similar, apart from the specifics that are reserved for federal background checks. Under this process, the arrest records are reviewed, and any kind of criminal history is recorded. The charges are related to the different criminal charges that may have been applied in the past. It also includes a check of the individual’s social security number that is used essentially to track any changes in the address and the name. Essentially, there is also an evaluation of the past work and a check on an individual’s lawsuit records.

A federal background check can be thought of as subjective. This is because the type of checks can be influenced based on the position that an applicant wants to pursue. There is a level of clearance required for every position and the elements included as part of the check vary depending upon the same. While a federal background check is majorly employed for government jobs, it is also commonly used for employees who apply to a job at hospitals or for child care.

An unscreened job force or employment process can bring an undeniable threat to the employee and organization. There is a growing awareness that is surrounding this concept and its importance is widely recognized in the hiring industry. Effective employment processes are hectic and are undoubtedly only successful after completion of the background check on every applicant. Needless to say, it is the best approach and brings along peace of mind.

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