6 Major Mistakes You Must Avoid When Doing Background Checks

Kelly Barcelos

Kelly BarcelosDigital Marketing Manager at Jobsoid

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

When recruiting for a particular role, you want to ensure you're choosing the right person for the right job. And the only way to do that is to learn as much as you can about their past successes, and past failures.

Article

Conducting a background check of new applicants is an important part of the hiring process. However, many employers rush through this process which may lead to problems later on. Here are some common mistakes that companies make while screening applicants.

1. Not getting the applicant’s consent

You are legally obligated to get the candidate’s written consent before conducting a background check. Give the candidate a form which states that the information obtained through the background check will be used for. If you don’t get consent, you may face serious legal consequences.

2. Not double-checking key information

When you’re conducting the background check, you need to be doubly careful to avoid mistakes. Ensure you got all the information such as the applicant’s name, date of birth and Social Security number right.

Next, ensure you’re checking the details of the right candidate as multiple people can share the same name. Don’t rush into the process; take your time and verify the applicant’s details before and during the background check. This will help you get accurate records.

3. Not conducting a complete background check

A complete background check means starting right from the applicant’s education to checking if they have any criminal record.

Numerous applicants give fake or misleading information in their resumes, mainly about their education qualifications. Either they didn’t earn the mentioned degree or claim to have received the degree from institutes that don’t even exist.

Do a local, state and national criminal record check to uncover any potential crime in the employee’s record.

4. Saying no to drug testing

You may avoid issues like employee injury cases in the future by testing them for illegal substances. However, it can be an expensive affair to manage an effective, ongoing substance abuse detection system. Moreover, you must know the laws pertaining to legal and illegal drugs. This causes many companies to ditch drug testing altogether.

Conducting a drug test could be beneficial, especially for the candidates who are required to handle heavy machinery. It may come with a hefty price tag but it could be worth it.

5. Not checking all the work locations

Background checks would be easy if the applicants stayed in one location all through their lives. But such applicants are rare.

In reality, people may relocate several times during their professional life. This is why you need to do a background check in each of those locations.

Ensure the candidate doesn’t have any aliases in different locations. Start with the local county and move to a state level. Check where the candidate has lived and worked in the last seven years. Get references from their previous employers to confirm the information.

Gather as much information as possible from all the locations to get a better insight into the applicant’s professional history.

6. Relying completely on automated software

Automated software makes the task of employee background checks easier, but it would be unwise to completely rely on it.

The data that a computer can gather might not be as reliable as that obtained by a human. Make the most of the benefits of the automated software during the screening process, but don’t base your final decision on its results. Rely on the human factor and then give the final thumbs up or thumbs down.

Make sure you discuss the background screening program with your legal counsel. Once you check all the necessary information with a fine-toothed comb, you can be assured of hiring trustworthy candidates.

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