If you are a recruiter then conducting a background check on the potential employees will provide you the opportunity to identify the best and clean professionals in your industry. But there are possibilities to make mistakes when you perform a background check on an individual unfortunately though.
So if you have an idea about some of the most common mistakes which recruiters tend to make before you start the process, you can avoid any such unnecessary errors and be rest ensured that the background check results you receive suit your specific needs.
1. Unsuitable timing
Unsuitable timing for conducting the background check is a common error that affects your chances of finding the best talent and a potential employee’s opportunity to work for your company. If you look up a candidate’s personal information too early in the initial stage of the interview process, then you are automatically rejecting a potential employee for some trivial errors in their record.
For example in some cases, a background check will show some problems like a criminal record or a poor driving history so some similar details. Some of these errors might be circumstantial also. However, any of these historical data will never reflect the individual’s abilities or skills.
Hence we suggest a background check at the final stage of the interview process. It can also be conducted after an offer of employment or a provisional offer of employment has been made to the candidate. By if you can wait until the end, you will be able to learn more about the individual and his t her skill sets. You also have the opportunity to discuss his or her beliefs, ideas or concerns before learning about their story.
You should keep in mind that the issue of timing is often dependent on the fundamental laws issued by the government about the hiring decisions un the respective locality where you operate as an employer. Make sure that you have an appropriate understanding and you are complaint within the parameters of the various laws like “ban the box” and other types of “fair chance” laws that may affect your background screening programs.
Your background screening vendor should be able to provide you the necessary assistance to help you in having the needful conversation with the legal counsel in order to set up a legally compliant screening program.
2. Instances of Mistaken identity during a background check
Mixing up identities of one individual with another person will naturally harm the outcome of a background check for obvious because you obtain false or inaccurate information. In some cases, mistaken identity actually costs a company the best employees for the position and prevents potential employees from obtaining a position in your company.
The primary reason that a mistaken identity occurs is the speed of a background check. A fast database service means that unexpected errors occur.
Reduce this risk when running a background check by asking for a formal application. Ask an applicant during a formal interview to double check information like his/her full name and social security number. Also, obtain a copy of a state-issued identity card or a federal passport.
By obtaining accurate information on an application or resume, you reduce the risk of mistaken identity impacting the background check process. When you learn about an arrest, drug charges or other similar concerns, inform the candidate and make sure that it is accurate information and have an open conversation with the candidate before you make an employment or retention decision!
3. Failure to Update Information
Federal and state regulations change over time as new laws regarding fair employment practices develop. Throughout the hiring process, you must provide accurate and up-to-date paperwork (including required disclosures) to your potential employees.
Make sure that you obtain permission from the potential employee before seeking any information. An employer must have written permission from a potential employee before starting a background check.
You must also explain why you need the information and the type of data before starting the process. For example, a company that works with children or handles a large amount of money will run a criminal background check to avoid hiring an inappropriate professional for the position.
Potential employees are within their rights to refuse a background check. If an individual refuses to sign the permission forms for any reason, then you can eliminate the candidate from the work opportunity and move on to a different candidate.
4. Limited response times
When the background check raises concerns about an individual’s ability to handle the tasks at work, you must inform him/her about the problem. Since errors occur on some occasions, the individual needs time to respond to any accusations or concerns before you move on to the next candidate.
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and its many state analogs require a two-step notification process before taking “adverse” action. Make sure that your background screening vendor and your corporate counsel have taken appropriate steps to ensure your compliance with local, state and federal law. Keep in mind that some jurisdictions (like the State of California) actually preempt the federal law, so don’t assume that because you follow the federal law that you are necessarily in full compliance!
A background check provides information that helps you select an appropriate candidate for a job, but you can make mistakes throughout the process. Make sure that you have accurate information before you eliminate a potential candidate from further interviews and make sure that you protect the applicants/employees’ rights throughout the screening process!
cFIRST Think Tank is the team that researches and produces content for cFirst. This team comprises of seasoned content and digital design professionals and background screening industry veterans. Together we produce insightful blogs, infographics and reports meant for HR and background screening professionals.