Employment Background Check Procedures

Finding the right people to work for you has never been an easy task. Everyone is good at something but you have to determine if they are likely to be good at doing what you want them to do. Not only that, you must also make sure that they are going to fit in with your organization and current staff. This is why having good employment background check procedures is essential whenever you are hiring new workers.

It might come as a surprise that the relatively simple process of checking the background and references for a prospective employee is often done poorly or not at all. Checking someone’s background can tell you a lot about someone and confirm that they are telling you the truth. Yes people do lie on application forms for all sorts of reasons and the problem is on the increase.

To avoid future legal problems you should make sure that your candidate has signed a comprehensive waiver allowing you to obtain any private information that you may require. It is best to use a statement prepared by a legal expert for this purpose but it is standard procedure so it should not be a problem.

It is very common to confuse employee reference checking with employment background checking but they are in fact, very different. Reference checking is the process of actually talking to people, ideally 3 people, who have had a business relationship with the candidate in the past 7 years.

Checking someone’s background is more to do with checking that they are who they say they are, verifying all certificates and licenses and searching for any criminal records or arrest warrant and other information that they may have conveniently forgotten to tell you.

Here are some of the more important checks for your background procedure.

Check with state or county court records in all the places that they have lived or worked in the past few years. This might uncover criminal records or arrest warrants etc. You should also check in states and counties adjacent to where they lived or worked also.

If the job might involve driving of any kind then you must see the drivers license and verify that it is valid with the issuing authority.

Credit checks should be done where appropriate but unless the job involves handling or controlling money in some way then such checks will usually be of little value. How an employee handles their own money may have little or no influence on how they perform their job.

You should check that all relevant certificates and licenses are valid. It is amazing how often this crucial step is ignored even when it involves doctors and lawyers and other professionals whose credentials should not be taken for granted. All it takes is a quick call to the issuing authority.

Sometimes I think that everyone except me lies about their academic achievements on their resume. They do it and get away with it because employers don’t include it in their employment background check procedures and if they do then it usually gets ignored. You should at least check that the qualification claimed was in fact obtained by calling the issuing body ask asking for verification.

Before you start phoning around or commissioning an employee screening services you should first check them out online. Why? Not because it will give you all the answers but because it is quick and easy and could confirm at least some of the information that you have been given. It might also highlight areas where you need to challenge the candidate or seek further validation.