The importance of background checks (2023)

The importance of background checks (1)

You can't trust trust anymore

They review the resume, do the interview and make a job offer. It's a simple process, right? Incorrect! What you don't know about a job applicant can hurt you and your organization. It's not good business practice to hire everyone who walks through the door. It is also not a good practice to rely solely on trust. They need to know who they are.miyour history. Don't be fooled by simply looking at a resume or taking the word of someone who is honest and qualified. When it comes to your organization, don't take chances!

Background checks on potential employees and volunteers should be an important part of your organization's business processes. Background checks can help reduce the risk of criminal activity such as violence, abuse, and theft. They can also review information on a candidate's resume or application and help your company decide if a person is the right fit for the position.

Your organization has a legal obligation to protect.

Keep in mind that employers have a legal obligation to protect their business, employees, and customers from all foreseeable actions of an employee or volunteer. You don't want to end up in a negligent hiring situation due to poor hiring practices. If your organization fails to conduct a pre-employment background check and an employee or volunteer commits a crime on the job, your organization accepts responsibility for its actions.

(Video) Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Background Checks

Complaints of "negligent hiring" are on the rise.

Organizations have a "duty of care" to protect employees and customers from candidates the organization knew, or should have known, posed a risk. For example, a newly recruited volunteer positioned himself near an isolated bathroom and attacked a school-age child while he was using the facility. It turned out that this person was on the sex offender registry, but the organization never checked before accepting the candidate and granting him full access to the organization. The fact that the organization did not perform a thorough background check virtually guaranteed that you were headed for a sloppy hiring process.

Remember that you do not have the absolute right to investigate someone's background or private life. Therefore, you need to know what you can and cannot do when running background checks. When hiring new employees or volunteers, you want to get as much information as possible to make smart decisions. But there is a caveat. Employees and volunteers have privacy rights in certain areas, and it is a right that they can enforce with legal action when background checks are not performed in accordance with the laws governing such checks.

You should be familiar with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

This law provides you, the employer, and the candidate with a fair method of handling background check reports. Under the FCRA, you are generally free to run background checks and use the informationconHas a clear commercial interest, e.g. B. to hire, fire, reassign, or promote someone. But you can't run an employment background check on a whim.

Before conducting a background check, you must provide the applicant with a "Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act" (Applicant's Rights) and obtain their written consent using an Authorization and Release Form. If you decide not to hire or promote someone based on the information in your report, you must provide a copy of the report and inform the person of their rights to challenge the report under the FCRA by submitting an adverse action form.

If someone is known to be unsuitable for the position, your organization could be held liable for negligent hiring. No company is immune from sloppy hiring due to poor hiring practices. Negligent attitude is based on the premise that employers have a duty to protect employees and customers from harm or injury (or "foreseeable" actions) caused by an employee. If an organization fails to perform a pre-employment background check and an employee or volunteer commits an unspeakable act, your organization accepts responsibility for its actions. This is why it is imperative for companies to perform due diligence and background checks on every new hire, regardless of the size of their organization. Volunteers must also be carefully selected due to their contact with children and other vulnerable populations.

Therefore, it's important to know what's allowed (and what's not) when reviewing a potential candidate's background and employment history. All reports made and received by your organization are governed by the laws of the FCRA. It is a good idea to consult an attorney and conduct legal research to learn federal, state, and local laws (and laws governing their access and use in the hiring decision-making process (which may vary from state to state). ). ) before making any recruitment selection. When setting up and implementing your background check program, keep the following guidelines in mind:

(Video) The Importance of Background Checks!

  • Create a written background check policy specific to your organization
  • Follow all FCRA guidelines and federal, state and local regulations
  • Use a combination of screening products and develop job-specific surveys
  • Establish criteria for evaluating information: what constitutes disqualifying information
  • Eliminate subjective opinions to ensure consistency when reviewing results.

The background investigation is your first line of defense.

So what type of background check will best benefit your business? What types of background checks should you perform? It is not necessary to perform all "types" of background checks for every job or position in your organization. Most basic background checks include criminal reports, social security number/address history, and education/employment verification. There is always the opportunity to extend a search beyond the basic selection components (most additional reviews are usually job or role determined). Depending on your position and role in your organization, you may be able to add additional searches, such as: B. Sex offender registry, vehicle reports, professional licenses, credit history, and drug tests.

Today more than ever, companies must pay attention to the quality of the employees they hire. Criminals and felons look for employment opportunities at organizations that do not conduct background checks. Organizations that have a selection program know the importance of background checks on candidates. The process does not have to be difficult or expensive. It's about keeping a business safe, protecting employees, customers and assets, and reducing risk. There is no rule that says you have to hire someone from a pool of applicants. If none of your candidates are right for the job, keep looking. You will not regret.

The importance of working with a reputable background check company

Not too long ago, only a few dozen companies offered background check services. Since then, this industry has grown rapidly in size and scope, but not necessarily in quality. After 9/11, many companies increased the demand for more vetting.

The result:There are just too many in the triage industry now, making it difficult to separate the top tier of night flight companies. Many sell cheap but sketchy background checks in minutes. Too often, they simply repeat old information purchased from private data brokers with no guarantee that the data is up-to-date or correct.

How can your organization determine who to select?

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a 650-member industry group, recently introduced a comprehensive six-tier credentialing and certification process.The goal:Identify "gold standard" pre-employment screening companies that excel in consumer protection, regulatory compliance, customer education, data quality, verification, and business practices.

These new standards address a longstanding concern of HR professionals: the lack of a concrete metric for vetting and checking the quality of background screeners.

(Video) What Does an Employment Background Check Include?

Advice:When selecting a background check provider or renewing your current provider, look for PBSA certification ( Then ask potential detection providers about their accuracy, specifically their error rate and resolution rate. Their information is not always provided, but it is an important criteria for evaluating the due diligence, compliance, and ability of the background reports they provide.


"Managing Your Background Scanners: Free Tips to Get You Started"
Von Sharon L. Zaleski
– An item provided by

"Risk Management and Background Checks" by William F. Hauswirth, President -An article provided by

Online resources for the FCRA:

Primary location yes FCRA yes

Explanation of the legal obligations of the employer

The importance of background checks (2)

(Video) Uncovering the Secrets Employers Find in Pre-Employment Background Checks!

This document is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as advice or opinion on any specific fact or circumstance. The content of this document is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. It should not be assumed that this document contains all acceptable security and compliance procedures or that additional procedures are not appropriate under the circumstances. Markel does not warrant that this information will be relied upon for compliance with any laws or regulations, warranties against avoidable loss, or disclaimers. This publication is not intended to constitute legal, insurance or other professional advice. Persons requiring advice should seek independent advice. Markel does not guarantee specific results and makes no commitment to update the information in this document or to remove anything that is no longer accurate or complete. In addition, Markel shall not be liable to any person or entity for any loss or damage caused or resulting from reliance on such content.

*Markel Specialty is a division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting manager for Markel's affiliated insurers.
© 2022 Markel Services, Incorporated. All rights reserved.

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Why are background checks so important? ›

Background screenings allow employers to get a more complete picture of a candidate, which may help them: Hire the most qualified people and improve productivity. Prevent instances of theft and other criminal behavior. Avoid workplace harassment and safety issues.

What is most important in a background check? ›

A background investigation generally involves determining whether an applicant may be unqualified for a position due to a record of criminal conviction, motor vehicle violations, poor credit history, or misrepresentation regarding education or work history.

What can be learned from background check? ›

Generally speaking, a background check for employment may show identity verification, employment verification, credit history, driver's history, criminal records, education confirmation, and more.

Why are background checks important to information security? ›

First, a background check may verify information an applicant provides about their credentials, such as past employment and education. Secondly, a check may involve searching relevant public or private records, such as driving records, criminal matters, exclusion or sanction databases, or credit reports.

Do background checks affect anything? ›

The good news is an employer background credit check won't affect your credit or FICO score at all. Why? It's considered a soft inquiry, which pulls most of your financial information for data purposes as opposed to a hard inquiry, which can take points off your score.

What is the main things employers look for in a background check? ›

An employer might check on information such as your work history, credit, driving records, criminal records, vehicle registration, court records, compensation, bankruptcy, medical records, references, property ownership, drug test results, military records, and sex offender information.

What is the importance of employee screening? ›

Pre-employment tests can assess candidates in terms of cognitive ability, emotional intelligence, skills, personality, honesty and integrity and physical ability, among other aspects. Pre-employment assessments can be one of the most objective ways of predicting job performance and company fit.

What's the meaning of background check? ›

Background check definition

A background check or background investigation is a review of a potential employee's criminal, commercial and financial records. The goal of background checks is to ensure the safety and security of the employees in the organisation.

Why are check background investigation candidates important? ›

Conducting thorough background checks can help employers learn about applicants' past work experiences, education information, criminal records, qualifications, or suitability that may not be adequately reflected on resumes and CVs.

Why are background checks an invasion of privacy? ›

While conducting a background check involves digging into a person's past—something that some people might find to be an invasion of privacy—candidate who consent to this process effectively waive their right to privacy in such areas.

Are background checks serious? ›

Should I be worried about a background check? A background check is a prerequisite of the hiring process and cannot be avoided. As long as you are honest on your resume and understand your rights, you will not have anything to worry about. Be sure to review the background check laws in your state before applying.

Are background checks worth it? ›

Filter Out Unreliable Job Candidates

Doing background checks is necessary to filter job candidates and ensure that the business hires the most fitting and credible ones. It verifies potential employees' qualifications and helps leaders decide the right people for the position with finality.

Is it better to be honest about a background check? ›

It will likely come out in the background check and prevent you from being hired because you flat out lied on your application. When you disclose it up front, it shows integrity and gives the employer the chance to consider the conviction as it relates to the job you'll be doing.

What is the most important disadvantage of criminal background checks? ›

Unfortunately, the results of a background check can cause an unfair bias in the hiring process. Background checks can disqualify criminal offenders who committed a crime, learned from their mistakes, and have since developed into a responsible, qualified, and experienced candidate for the position.

Why do people fail background checks? ›

What causes a red flag on a background check? There are plenty of reasons a person may not pass a background check, including criminal history, education discrepancies, poor credit history, damaged driving record, false employment history, and a failed drug test.

Do people fail background checks? ›

Criminal records are one reason candidates “fail” to pass a background check. Roles that involve working with minors, vulnerable populations, or involve significant responsibility typically have the tightest parameters.

Why do they do a background check after a job offer? ›

One reason for this is that an employer may choose to request a background check for multiple potential hires. The findings from your background check may also influence whether an employer extends an offer to you. If you've already received a job offer, your eventual hiring may depend on your background check.

What questions do background checks ask employers? ›

What Employers Want to Know
  • Dates of employment.
  • Educational degrees and dates.
  • Job title.
  • Job description.
  • Why the employee left the job.
  • Whether the employee was terminated for cause.
  • Whether there were any issues with the employee regarding absenteeism or tardiness.
  • Whether the employee is eligible for rehire.
Nov 16, 2021

What happens if employer doesn't respond to background check? ›

Contact Background Check Company

If the employer does not respond or cannot be reached, the company can require you, as the employee, to provide copies of W-2s for every year you were employed, usually to be submitted within 48 hours.

What is the purpose of screening process? ›

Screening is a process used to determine a job applicant's qualifications and potential job fit for a position to which they have applied.

What is screening and why is it important in HR? ›

Screening is the process of evaluating job applications, scanning resumes and selecting suitable candidates that match with the job description. The process of determining whether a candidate is qualified for the role is based on their educational qualifications, experience, and skill sets.

Why is screening and assessment important? ›

Screening and assessment provide valuable information about each child's interests, strengths, and needs. Screening gives a snapshot of whether the child's development is on track. Assessment is an ongoing process that includes observation and provides information about development over time.

What's another word for background check? ›

Consumer reports are another name for background check reports. Depending on the specific types of information requested, consumer reports may include payment and credit histories, criminal and driving records, employment history and educational credentials.

What do background checks prevent? ›

They found that, compared with background checks that examine only criminal history, background checks that include restraining orders, mental illness, and fugitive status are associated with significantly fewer total homicides and firearm homicides.

Why do a background check on myself? ›

Benefits of running a self background check

Running a background check on yourself can give you a chance to preview what employers and landlords might see. This can help you: Anticipate questions or concerns and prepare to provide additional context around any information in the report.

Why do background checks get flagged? ›

One of the most common types of background checks is the criminal check. If there is a felony on your criminal record, it could be a red flag for employers. A history of violent crimes, sexual offenses, robberies, or serious drug offenses can make it difficult to pass a background check.

Are background checks safe? ›

Many people think that background checks are made to “get them” or find something to disqualify them from something. Instead employers conduct background checks as a precaution, to fulfill the FCRA guidelines, and to just keep their company and employees as safe as possible.

What is one of the main reasons employers perform background checks? ›

It Highlights Criminal History.

The primary reason most employers run pre-employment background checks is to flag any criminal convictions in an applicant's past. Sometimes, these criminal charges posit someone as dangerous, unreliable, untrustworthy, or otherwise not suitable for hiring.

Is it common to fail background check? ›

There are plenty of reasons a person may not pass a background check, including criminal history, education discrepancies, poor credit history, damaged driving record, false employment history, and a failed drug test.

What do employers care about in background check? ›

An employer might check on information such as your work history, credit, driving records, criminal records, vehicle registration, court records, compensation, bankruptcy, medical records, references, property ownership, drug test results, military records, and sex offender information.

What can employers learn from a background check? ›

An employee background check reviews a potential candidate's personal, educational, financial, and criminal records to ensure they deem fit for the position. It is conducted to cross-verify the details provided by the applicant on their resume.

How do you answer background check questions? ›

Even though you can safely omit some information about your criminal past, you must offer an honest answer when directly asked about it by the interviewer. Don't lie about your past, even if it was a minor offense or a single occurrence. Many employers conduct background checks, which will reveal the incident.

What are some red flags on a background check? ›

8 Common Red Flags on Background Checks
  • Inconsistency in Information. ...
  • Gaps in Employment History. ...
  • Short Lengths of Time at Companies. ...
  • Criminal Records. ...
  • Suspicious Credit History. ...
  • Negative References. ...
  • Failed Drug Screening. ...
  • Refusing a Background Check Entirely.
Jun 9, 2022


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