When a company is looking for applicants for its job openings, the most important details can usually be found in resumes and during interviews. But it is important to understand that resumes and interviews can only reveal so much, and oftentimes can be subject to embellishments and even fraud. In addition, even the most impressive resumes won’t provide an insight to a person’s true character and other qualities such as reliability and integrity. In order to address this issue, a background check or investigation must always be performed prior to hiring an employee. Background checks can also be performed routinely even for regular employees in order to ensure that everyone remains qualified in their job positions.
In performing a background check on an applicant, a company will be able to verify the authenticity of details indicated on the resume such as work history. Employers will get in touch with the companies an applicant has worked with in the past and ask information such as job tenure, duties and responsibilities, and overall performance quality. An applicant’s educational background may also be verified by contacting the college or university and check whether details about one’s achievements and honors are all true. By simply doing a background check on a person’s work history and educational background, their honesty and integrity can already be verified.
Criminal records are also an important detail that is thoroughly scrutinized by any background check. This is because an employer can be charged with negligent hiring claims should their employee be accused with any criminal activity, especially if it has been established that there was no background check prior to hiring that employee. And while not all individuals with criminal histories should automatically translate to a disqualification from employment, employers must still evaluate carefully the nature of their offenses and how it can affect the job they will be assigned to. For example, an applicant with a history of theft may not be a good candidate for a job position that involves handling of cash and other assets.
Motor vehicle and driving records may also be included in background investigation, especially if the job position involves driving any motor vehicle. In relation to this, drug screening may also be performed. Ideally, employers would want to look for candidates that have clean driving history, as any problems with alcohol or substance abuse can spell trouble for the company in the long run. This is especially true when the applicant’s main job will involve driving of motor vehicles. A company can also check an applicant’s driver’s license information in order to verify if a person is legitimately qualified to drive a motor vehicle on a professional level and if there might be any past driving violations that must be concerned with.
Another criminal history that employers must watch out for is one that involves sexual assault and other related charges. This is one red flag that must never be ignored as it can significantly increase the safety risk in the company. Ideally, it is a good idea to also perform reference checks by interviewing people who have known an applicant one way or another in order to better gauge their personality, character, work ethics, and overall performance. For some companies, even credit history may also be evaluated, particularly those positions that have something to do with finances. And while results on this area are not always definitive, anyone who is struggling with debts and loans might not be the best person to hire when the job requires proper handling and management of finances.
With the advent of the Internet and social media, it is also not unusual today for a company to also check public social media accounts and the nature of posts by any individual. But while the type of posts an individual makes on social media may provide an overview on their personality or character, care must always be taken as not everything posted on the Internet or social media is true or what it seems to be. Ultimately, it is still best to take into account the different areas of a background check while taking into consideration the nature of work an applicant will be involved with. Not only will a properly conducted background check prevent bad hires, but also minimize risks, promote safety, and also prevent financial losses for the company.