Background Checks: An Essential Component of the Recruitment Process

One of the best ways an employer can protect itself when hiring an employee is by ensuring a background check is conducted during the recruitment process. Not only can the employer determine if the candidate has the appropriate skills for the job, but they can also reduce liability related to negligent hiring and ensure that the right candidate was selected for the job.

  • Verify qualifications – A high percentage of candidates embellish the truth on their resumes. A background check can validate the candidate has done what they say they have done, and when they have claimed to have done it, including degrees, GPAs, and job history. It can also uncover whether they possess the skills they claim to be proficient in such as a foreign language or a technical skill.
  • Prevent negligent hiring – If an employee harms a client or another employee, the employer can be found liable if they cannot prove that they did their due diligence in hiring. Many companies have had to pay huge settlements because a background check was not done on an employee that would have uncovered a history of violence.
  • Assess fit – A background check is a good opportunity to talk with individuals that know the candidate and have worked with him or her. Past performance is an indicator of future performance, so speaking with people familiar with the candidate’s work history is crucial in having a complete perspective of their job performance, work habits, and the strengths and weaknesses they’ll bring to the job.

Employer background check services help the employer ensure that the information gathered during the investigation is job-related. Employers must make sure they are in compliance with federal and state laws regarding background checks and the information they are allowed to request. For instance, medical history and military records are off-limits. An applicant should be made aware of and provide consent to the background check.

Employers must make sure their background check policy is consistent for all applicants to prevent a candidate from claiming discrimination. Additionally, if adverse information is discovered that impacts your hiring decision, the Fair Credit Reporting Act mandates that the candidate be allowed to explain or dispute the accuracy of the report. Employers can then decide whether to go forward with hiring the candidate.

Background checks are an essential component of the recruitment process and provide another tool to help an organization validate that the right candidate is hired for the position.

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