5 Things You Must Know About Employee Background Verification

Shefali Vasave | February 17, 2022 | 239 views

The Importance of Background Checks and Building a Secure Team

Background checks are not just a way to ensure that the person is who they say they are, but also a way to ensure that the company is protected from liability.

According to Checkster, a background checking company, over 78% of job seekers lie on their resume. In addition, 60% lie about their expertise in skills like excel or fluency in a foreign language. The survey collected responses from over 400 job applicants. According to the study, people lie about their education, work experience, and even awards and achievements.

“By understanding the strengths of the employees through the business, we can create an environment of opportunity for people to create careers for themselves that are led by their passion rather than a job title, creating jobs of enjoyment.”

- Kayleeann Maritz, Chief Marketing Officer at Momenta Group Global

Falling short on essential skills required to do a job is just one facet of misrepresentation. This not only keeps organizations from hiring honest and well-matched candidates, but they also lose out on the skills they are really looking for. Background checks, reference checks, and even skills tests help employers filter out dishonest candidates.

When Should You Conduct Employment Background Investigations?

Employment background investigations can be an important part of the hiring process. Before hiring someone, it is important to do a background check. This can give you an idea of their professionalism and work ethic.

A 2018 study sponsored by the National Association of Background Screeners (NABS) reported that while 60% of employers conduct an employment verification background check during the hiring process, others conduct it throughout the employee lifecycle. 14% of employers screen an employee’s background for legal compliance, and 10% do it on the grounds of a cause.

For example, in 2019, an NBC news investigation reported that Mina Chang, the deputy assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stability Operations, misrepresented her experience and achievements, including a fake Time magazine cover that had a face on it. A week later, she had to resign.

How to Run a Background Screening?

An employment verification background check can be done on new hires, current employees, and even third-party contractors. It provides an opportunity for employers to find out about their criminal records and other information that may make an employee unsuitable for a job. Background checks also help employers find out if someone has been fired from their previous organization and for what reason.

While candidates are looking for the right job, a background check benefits employers by helping them search for the right candidate. A background screening checklist will ensure you are not missing anything in your background verification process. Here are some things to consider when running a background check:

  • What kind of information do you need?
  • How much does it cost?
  • What is the turnaround time?
  • What kinds of reports can you get from the company?
  • Are there any discounts for employers or employees?


How Employers Should Approach Criminal History Checks

Organizations want to hire the best-matched candidate with the right skillsets and personality traits that will be beneficial to their company. But what about criminal records? Should it be a factor to consider in hiring decisions?

In the United States, 95 million people have a criminal record. This rate of recidivism is alarming and is problematic for employers who want to hire qualified candidates. The dilemma is that employers need to protect themselves and their customers from potentially dangerous situations, but they also need to be mindful of the risks that come with exclusion.

A criminal history check is a way of screening an applicant's past criminal record. It is often done as part of a background check process by employers before they decide whether to hire someone. When it comes to employing someone with a criminal history, there are many considerations that employers must weigh. One of the most significant considerations is the seriousness of the crime committed and what position they have applied for. You should find out the type of crime they have committed and how long ago, the severity of their crime, and if they've been convicted.

For example, some crimes, such as drug possession, can't prevent you from obtaining employment. As they say, there are two sides to a coin, and a conviction isn’t necessarily a demonstration of a person’s inability to live and work competently.


Background Verification and Data Privacy

Although background check benefits are several, collecting sensitive data has its own limitations. Data privacy is a huge concern for employers because background verification collects sensitive data about applicants, which needs to be stored securely and not shared with anyone else without their consent. Some of the laws that employers need to comply with include:

  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA): Under this law, employers who conduct job performance and employment background investigations through third party companies need to disclose the verification and notify the candidate about the inquiry before requesting a report.
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act, or FACTA): This law mandates the secure disposal of all information collected in the investigation report.
  • Equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws: Employers must ensure compliance with this law to avoid discrimination or legal action based on the same.
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA): This law prohibits any discrimination based on nationality or citizenship for employers that have four or more employees. Undocumented immigrants are not covered under this law.


Background Verification-How Much is Too Much Information?

The importance of background checks cannot be understated. In a competitive job market, many candidates resort to lying on their resumes. An insight into an employee’s background ensures that employers can secure their organization, their workforce, and their customers. One of the latest ways to conduct background verification is through social media. There have been instances where employees have been fired because of the views they expressed on their personal social media profiles. But, what about employment background verification?

Employers can use social media as a tool to search for information about an applicant's personal views. In addition, a platform like LinkedIn can be used to see whether the candidates’ peers or senior managers have endorsed them for the skills they have mentioned. However, employers must exercise caution when using social media as a way to check a candidate’s background because it may not provide a complete or fair picture of their past.

As remote work becomes mainstream, it becomes even more important to ensure that potential employees are who they say they are and have the skills they claim to have.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the most common way to find out if someone has a criminal record?

The most common way is by searching for them on an online criminal record database.

Do background checks always come back with a clear and definitive answer?

Background checks typically come back with a clear and definitive answer. But there are some cases where it's not straightforward. For example, if an applicant has a criminal history but it was expunged, then the background check may not show up.


How does one use a background check company?

A background check company usually provides information about an individual's criminal record, credit history, and any other public records. Background check companies can be used by employers to verify the credentials of potential employees, landlords to verify the credentials of potential tenants, or anyone else who wants to know more about another person.

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