How superficial background checks can freeze out qualified employees

Hiring new employees is not an easy process. There are several things to consider: qualifications, attitude, culture fit, personality, etc. Hiring managers have the enormous responsibility of sorting through applicants (all of whom might be perfectly able to do the job in question) and choosing the best of the best. Human Resources professionals need all the help they can get in order to make good decisions. That’s why they partly rely on background checks to determine which candidates are better and why. A greatly qualified candidate may have a history of litigations, which can end up damaging a company. Or someone may have lied on their resume, putting the company at risk (especially when certifications are required by law, like in the case of health professionals).


Superficial Background Checks

There are many websites that offer to perform background checks for a few dollars. Some even have free options. But there are problems associated with superficial background checks. For example, there is a high likelihood of mixing up the records of people who have very similar names. To avoid these issues, use a more in-depth service such as Not only can they find information in a matter of minutes, but they can also sort through duplicate records, analyze data, and sort it by relevance. You’ll get:

  1. Criminal Records/Arrest Reports: Most companies will prefer to hire employees with no criminal records. Some people may even be banned by law from performing certain types of activities.
  2. Bankruptcies: Understanding how people manage money may be really important before a hiring decision, especially when the position entails financial responsibilities.
  3. Liens: Much as bankruptcies, understanding someone’s liens helps determine if they are able to handle money.
  4. Traffic Records, such as a DUI, are very important when the position in questions requires driving.
  5. Sexual Offender Status
  6. Civil Records: These are non-criminal records, such as divorces, child custody, or a restraining order.

An in-depth background check can also help you verify someone’s identity, analyze information on their social media accounts, verify their address history, and get a list of immediate and distant relatives. Checkpeople’s services are less than $50 a month per unlimited searches, and they have the option to download reports in PDF format for a small additional fee.

To be more confident you can even reveal an employee’s personality via pre-employment tests. For example, the Cubiks test can help you to assess candidates’ preferences in the workplace and explore their personal style of working.

Important Considerations

A superficial background check can be the reason why your company passes on a perfectly capable employee, but there is more to it: 

  1. Your company may be liable for non-compliance with anti-discrimination laws, and this can have costly consequences.
  2. You may need to start the process over, as candidates have the right to ask for corrections if their records were mistaken or mixed up. This will end up costing the company more time and money.
  3. There are many irregular background check services, and by using them, you might even be breaking the law. For example, to perform a credit background check, you need to make sure that the service is certified by the FTC as a Credit Reporting Agency (or CRA). You can also be the victim of a scam or identity theft.
  4. Candidates may choose not to apply to your jobs if you have a history of messed up background checks, which will diminish your company’s chances of hiring top talent. 
  5. A superficial background check can also miss a fake diploma or certification, and your company may be liable for mistakes made by a non-certified or licensed employee. This is especially important regarding positions in healthcare, beauty, fitness, and education, among others.

Background checks are an excellent way to find out more about someone, which should happen before entering any contractual relationship. However, choosing a background check service is a delicate process. Some hiring managers use Google to find more information about a candidate. While it’s good for tidbits and some cold facts, search engines can end up being rabbit holes in which you’ll get lost or follow mistaken leads. For this reason, investing a few dollars on a professional service is much more cost-effective. Whenever possible, find fore alternative sources to verify your information before you make a decision, as a wrong move may cost your company a lot of money. (for example, when a rider sued Uber for not performing a proper background check on a driver, who ended up raping her. If you want to read more about the story, visit this site

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.