Employees are after all the living breathing assets of your company. They make up the, very literal, workforce that powers the engine. Revenues are not only affected when wrong hires are made, they are also affected when employee turnover rates are high and this is not even taking the potential for a lawsuit should the employee that you failed to properly vet prove to be unethical or dishonest.
According to HireRight’s 2016 Benchmark Report, employers screening the contingent and extended workforce has nearly doubled in the last five years from 48 percent in 2011 to 81 percent.
Here are some best practices to follow:
Be thorough: Companies lose great candidates when they look at only one specific item. Look at an expansive spectrum of information, which includes consideration of an applicant’s education, employment, and criminal history, driving history, social media and so much more.
Do it legally: Based on the way the background check is conducted, you will be required to have a legal release form completed by the applicant, inform that person of his/her rights, and provide that applicant with a copy of the report, as well as adverse actions communications. There are many ways to conduct a background check the wrong way, which means as an employer, you must take great care to follow the rules.
Be consistent: Ensure that the process for all applicants is consistent. Two applicants applying for the same job should have the same searches and investigations run on them. Different job types may require different levels of investigation, but for the same job title, make sure you keep your process uniform to avoid charges of discrimination.
Communication is key: If the background check turns up something negative, that may impact the decision to hire an applicant; you should — at a minimum — engage in a conversation with the applicant. Many a time, misconceptions, mistakes, and reporting errors can all be solved by organising face-to-face communication between the two parties involved.
Look at the patterns: Positive and negative patterns are the best way to evaluate your applicant. A single good act or bad act should not be the defining measure of a person or of their job ability. Considering consistent patterns of behaviour is a defensible way for employers to make hiring decisions.
A professional agency is your best bet: Great screening companies will do a far better job of locating the information you want. They have the experience and processes to be accurate and efficient. They also prevent you from viewing data that might be a violation of state or federal law instead of you yourself running a limited search. You can’t find everything online. So much of the concrete — legally obtained — data for a background check can only be conducted by a licensed background check firm.