Importance of Background Checks

background checkWhile choosing employees for your business, it is very important to know some things about them. Otherwise you and your business can be at risk. According to a study held by the Society of Human Resources Management, 50% of applications and resumes have false information in them. Employee theft is one of the major causes of business failures. Businesses can incur violence and damages due to wrong employee selection. An important step can be taken to have a control on such risks – background check. Background check is a very important yet inexpensive measure you can take to save time, money and problems, while hiring employees.

Background checks are of various types such as criminal history search, credit report, national criminal scan, motor vehicle records, social security trace, reference check, civil court records, military service verification, drug and alcohol screening, sex offender registry, education confirmation, civil court records, credentials and licenses, and employment verification. Most of these services are provided by third party firms, based on standards set by government or semi-government organizations e.g. the Federal Trade Commission in the USA.

Useful information can be sought with the help of each of these background checks. You have to find out which one is beneficial for your business, according to the position for which you want to hire. For example if a doctor is to be hired, education verification should be conducted, because a degree is vital for this professional. If, after a year or so, you find that the doctor you hired hasn’t completed M.D. or Ph.D. what will be your condition? Therefore you must understand the risk in not conducting background checks.

Keep in mind that the written authorization of an applicant is necessary before conducting a background check. This authorization is obtained through standard forms, apart from other forms the applicant should sign. Beware of an applicant who denies to sign a background check or pretends to forget signing the form.

Whenever an employer takes a decision considering the information in a background check, an “adverse action notice” i.e. a written notification and a copy of the background check report should be sent to the applicant. This notice should provide the name and contact information of the firm which gave the report, together with a disclaimer that this firm didn’t have a role in making the decision. The party conducting the background check must be able to provide an ‘adverse action notice’ to the employer.

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