Background Screening Checks: The Key Checks Employers Must Make

A recent survey by the Professional Background Screening Association revealed that while 95% of companies conducted some form of background checks, many of them are lacking in robustness. For instance, 4 in 10 companies do not verify a candidate’s education, 1 in 4 do not validate professional licenses candidates claim to have, and 6 in 10 do not perform international background checks.

Screening checks are supposed to help ensure the candidate is both competent and will preserve workplace safety and the company’s integrity. But the lack of thorough background checks defeats that goal. That’s why this post will explore 8 keys checks employers must make.

  • Criminal history check

It’s the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the workplace is safe for everyone. A candidate with multiple instances of aggression or who is a sex offender, if employed, will negatively impact workplace safety. A criminal history check like a national police check australia which is commonly used in Australian states and territories can be used to uncover previous crimes of an applicant. However, criminal history must be examined in context to avoid eliminating a potentially great candidate for an irrelevant reason.

  • Employment History

A new study shows that about 85% of applicants lie on their resume. For roles that require in-depth experience level, employers risk hiring an incompetent candidate on pretence. This, in turn, will impact work quality and overall productivity. To prevent this from happening, employers must verify the ‘so-called’ accomplishments of candidates.

  • Education History

One dark side of the Internet is the ease at which individuals can get fake certifications and diplomas. Coupled with the fact that candidates may lie about their grade or even degree, the background check must include educational history verification. This helps to ensure the applicant’s credibility and competence.

  • Reference Checks
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While many people lie on their resume, some go the extra mile of including friends as references to back up their story to fool employers. Although this doesn’t mean reference checks are not valuable. They are, but they should be reviewed in line with other sources of information about the applicant.

  • Credit history checks

Credit history checks must be included in screening checks in the financial sector, in particular. Roles that entail financial responsibilities require a person that is financially-free, trustworthy, and with good money habits. This helps to reduce the chances that the hired individual will be engaged in fraud in the future.

  • Social Media Screening

Checking Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and similar platforms can give more personal insights into an applicant. For instance, a person involved in hate speech may cause trouble for an employer down the line. However, social media screening should be used with caution. Disqualifying candidates based on race, religion, or sexual orientation revealed through social media can result in discrimination lawsuits.

  • International Background Checks

In today’s interconnected world, there’s a greater chance of employing a person from another country. The global economy gives people plenty of space to hide their baggage. In such instances, background checks should cover where an applicant has worked in the past 5 years, irrespective of where that is.

  • Driving Record Check

Of course, this is only relevant to jobs that involve driving. It can help reveal whether the applicant engages in risky behaviours like excessive speed or driving under the influence. Failure to check a trucker or subway operator’s driving record may result in a negligent hiring lawsuit for their employer, should they be involved in an accident that causes harm.

  • Security and clearances

Security is the highest priority for any company. But the organization that needs its employee to access the sensitive, protected and confidential data, needs to take extra precautions. They may ask the candidate to get a security check or other clearances done to perform their roles.

  • Right to work checks

This check is important to know about the candidate’s working rights in Australia. It is known as the VEVO check where it will also check the persons visa or residency status. The cost of hiring a person knowing they don’t have the right to work could result in hefty fines. To avoid such fines, VEVO check is available to give you peace of mind.

  • Identity verification

A very crucial step for any hiring company as it confirms if the applicant is the person they claim they are. In Australia, it is determined by the “100 points identity document” checklist which must be provided to any company as proof of their identification.

  • Health screening

Health screening is usually required where the applicant will be required to carry out some sort of physical activities. Working in the security roles, as a fitness trainer, construction or building sector or even public transport drivers are required to undergo a health assessment. But, the type of pre-placement medical examination varies with the role.

A Note of Caution

While having a robust background check is extremely important in today’s employment landscape, it should be limited to areas that are relevant to the role in question. By taking all the necessary steps, the company can stay transparent and fair and thereby, minimizing any risk associated.

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