A Practical HR Guide to Conducting Background Investigation

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Employee theft, workplace violence & obligations to hire the best talent have leveraged companies of all sizes across the United States to include background investigation as an elemental part of their hiring process.

Conducting a thorough screening lowers the odds of making a bad hire, which otherwise cost between $25,000 and $50,000, as reported by CareerBuilder — leading global employment website.

In a nutshell, it is easier not to hire than to fire. Here, in this article, we put forth a step-by-step guide on conducting comprehensive background investigation:-

Step 1: Verify Their Education

As per the recent report by Neeyamo, one in every six applicants tweaks their education and employment background to add more value to their resume; besides, in this era of the Internet, it is not next to impossible to create fake degrees and certification, and this is where background checks come into play.

A qualified background investigator will get in touch with the candidate’s college to determine whether they completed their degree program.

If the candidate claims other achievements, such as graduating with distinction, the investigator must verify every qualification and certification mentioned in the resume.

Step 2: Verify Their Previous Employment

Top Resume — a trusted resume-writing service globally— for a study, requested recruiters & hiring managers worldwide, to send their stories of worst lying experiences with different applicants.

In one story, a candidate lied about working at an organization where the recruiter was previously handling the HR activities. The candidate even lied about duties, responsibilities, and co-workers to enhance the resume; isn’t that incredible?

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Such coincidences have a feeble possibility, and often candidates won’t be caught for lying in their resume unless background screening is done. Therefore, it is imperative to verify the dates of employment, wages, licenses, previous job positions, and more.

For several industries, the on-job experience is way more important than a degree, and any lie could lead to a bad hiring decision.

Step 3: Follow Up with References

A background investigator also has to take up the task of following up with references. The goal is to have an idea regarding the candidate’s work ethics, strengths, and weaknesses, on the whole, whether they can adapt to your workplace culture or not.

While speaking with references, ask open-ended questions, such as how was the performance of the candidate? His/her coordination with the manager?

Step 4: Conduct a Criminal Record Check

Conducting a criminal record check is a critical step of background investigations. A survey reported merely 10% of employers don’t pay heed to their potential hire’s criminal records.

It is imperative to know whether the applicant ever pleaded guilty or requested no contest to the crime? What was the nature of the crime? Employers must consider checking with the state and federal laws on criminal record checks.

The legality of pre-employment drug screening varies from one U.S. state to another. Therefore, it is advised that employers consult with legal counsel if they have any queries regarding the background check.

In-House vs. Third-Party Company

Most of the local background check companies will free up your HR department from the time-consuming and frustrating task of conducting background checks of every candidate before hiring them.

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The laws surrounding background checks are complicated and ever-changing; getting information requires expertise; thereby, hiring a specialized third-party company is a no-brainer.

Hire a credible background screening service provider to conduct anything from routine checks to in-depth investigations at a relatively low cost.

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