What is a Background Check?
While honesty is an integral value, many people will misrepresent themselves to appear in a better light than their circumstances dictate. Therefore, there is a need to analyze the integrity of the information that one produces concerning themselves to rule out the possibility of a falsified resume.
A background check is a process a person or an organization uses to verify and confirm a person’s information and history. The background check analyzes the credibility of the information that was volunteered while performing a search on the person’s activities from the past, employment history, criminal record, credit score, and academic and educational qualifications.
The question arises whether a background check is similar to a reference check. A reference check is strictly limited to the hiring process, where an employer or a hiring manager gets more information regarding a candidate by contacting previous employers. Therefore, while both involve acquiring information about a person, a reference check is limited to the recruitment process.
What is a Reference Check?
The employer conducts a reference check during the recruitment process. The hiring manager contacts the applicant’s former employers and educational facilities to confirm the academic qualifications, skills, and abilities that the applicant has listed in their portfolio. As the hiring manager, you can conduct a reference check through an in-depth or backdoor reference.
An in-depth reference includes verifying applicants’ information submitted during an interview on their abilities, skills, and job titles. It involves you communicating with the references or referees the applicant offered to you to understand their weaknesses and strengths and the best skills necessary for the job you offer.
A backdoor reference involves communicating with persons the applicant has not listed in their resume to gain more information about the applicant. In conducting a backdoor reference, the hiring manager reaches out to former managers and colleagues, who then speak about your qualifications. It is essential to consider employment law that protects an employee against disclosure of information and requires the prospective employee’s consent.
A reference is necessary to rule out an applicant who has falsified their resume for a job application because this is not an ideal world and job applicants are likely to falsify a resume. It would be best if you carried out a reference to avoid instances where you may hire an under qualified person or a person who is a risk to your organization.
Why Should You Carry Out Background Checks?
The reason you conduct a background check is to obtain information that is necessary to make a decision. A background check is necessary to obtain accurate, factual, and complete information to make an informed decision concerning an applicant. The following are the reasons why it is essential to carry out a background check:
1. To protect the image and reputation of your organization
You must preserve your firm’s brand image and reputation by avoiding bad publicity. You must engage with employees who reflect your company’s core values. Your employees are the face of the business hence the need to hire candidates who will represent your company to the community in a positive manner.
2. To enhance productivity
Hiring qualified people enhances productivity at the workplace, which in turn generates more revenue. You should do a background check to select the most skilled and qualified people who are reliable and have a strong work ethic. A reference check is essential in selecting employees who adhere to timelines and have high morale, enhancing productivity at work.
An employer must provide workplace safety for employees and company property. Conducting a background check is necessary to put customers, employees, and the employer out of harm’s way by avoiding hiring persons with a criminal background. Conducting a criminal history check is a pre-emptive measure that protects your employees, partners, and customers against criminal acts such as physical assault, sexual harassment, and theft at the workplace.
4. Ensure legal compliance
As an employer, you must ensure that you comply with all the regulatory measures and labor laws that the government has put in place. Performing a background check ensures that you employ employees who can be legally employed and have all the relevant qualifications and paperwork required to work in a country.
Types of Background Checks
There are different types of background checks that you can conduct as per your needs to find an employee who is the best fit for your organization. The following are the background screening that you should undertake:
1. Identity verification
An essential aspect of background screening is obtaining personal information concerning an employee. You must obtain accurate information regarding the prospective employee’s name, security number, and identification document.
2. Educational history
Verify the accuracy of the academic certificates listed in the resume. Applicants listing educational institutions and certificates they have not attained is a standard resume fraud. It would be best to ascertain that the employee has validly attained the academic qualifications.
3. Employment history
As an employer, you must verify the employment history that an applicant has included in their resume. Applicants will likely falsify details that enhance their job responsibilities, skills, roles, and titles. Therefore, you should verify information on employment dates, job titles, duties performed, and the circumstances of separation from the previous employer.
4. Criminal history
Verify whether the applicant has a criminal background and whether there is an arrest warrant out for them. Prescreen whether the applicant has been charged with workplace violence, theft, personal assault, or sexual harassment to protect your partners, clients, and property.
5. Credit check
It is crucial to verify whether the job applicant is financially responsible for ascertaining whether they can manage the company funds and budgets using the best background checks online. Credit reports will play a key role in ascertaining whether the employee will pose a risk in handling the company’s property.
6. Driving records
An employer must verify the driving records of a prospective employee if the employee will be operating a motor vehicle. You need to verify the driving license, the license class, license status, traffic violation, expiration dates, and conviction or arrest for drunk driving.