Have you ever thought what essential background screening details hiring managers demand?
Whether you are hiring a new executive officer or an entry-level intern, the value of a good background check is immeasurable. So what are the essential questions to ask and boxes to click? At what point does a background check cross ethical and legal lines? Most importantly, why is all this information necessary for the hiring process?
Whether you are human resources professional or a small business owner looking to learn about pre-hiring background investigations, here are some of the most common essential details to check.
1. Identity verification
The first and most important check to do before hiring an employee is identity verification. It would help if you verified they are who “they say” they are. This includes confirming that the name and social security details provided during the application process are backed by legitimate documents.
Identity verification also saves you a lot of resources, time, and effort with subsequent background checks.
The last thing you want is to be sent on a futile chase verifying qualifications, credit, and security details using false identification details.
2. Education, licensing, and certifications
Depending on the job description that the individual in question applied for, a background check on their professional qualifications would be significant.
This includes looking into their education history, including where they studied, how far they got, and achievements if those are important to your hiring process.
Professional licenses and certificates also need to be authenticated to avoid legal liability in case of future malpractice.
3. Criminal history
Most businesses also typically look into the applicant’s or employee’s criminal history. The most important thing to look out for in this case is a past or recent illegal activity.
Have they been arrested in the past? If so, what were they contained for and were they convicted of the crime, and what was the sentencing information?
In addition to the criminal history, you may want to determine whether they account for civil legal issues. They are critical if the applicant has been sued for issues regarding their professional life.
4. Social media and internet checks
You can learn a lot about a person from their social media and internet presence. These checks give you better insight into the kind of person you are considering hiring.
How do they relate with others? Do they hold any controversial beliefs and opinions that are not in line with your company’s values?
These checks will help save you a lot of trouble if the applicant has a shady online past.
5. Employment history
Another crucial check to perform when looking into an applicant’s background is their employment history. This includes looking into where they have worked in the past, their roles, their performance and achievements, and, if possible, any feedback from old bosses or coworkers.
This helps shed light on the type of employee the applicant is likely to be. It is also a fantastic indicator of experience level, especially for heavily skill-based jobs.
6. Drug screening and general health checks
Drug and health checks are not routinely done by every company or business while performing background investigations, however, they are both vital.
Drug screening, in particular, is essential to protect the business from liability in case of workplace injuries or malpractice caused by employees while under the influence.
Health checks are usually only necessary in jobs where the applicant’s health status directly affects their productivity. You may find these done in professions in the medical and military fields, just to name a few.
7. Reference checks
Looking into references provided by the applicant is the best way to tie up all you found out during your check. Referees from the applicant’s old workplace or training institutions, in particular, will pretty much let you in on all that you need to know about the applicant’s work ethics, strengths, and weaknesses. Also, personal references from friends and church, volunteers, or other civic institutions can be a productive way to discover an individual.
Just make sure to verify that the references are who they claim to be and don’t misrepresent the relationship for purposes of only helping out a friend.