Imagine a scenario: You have conducted an interview for a vacant position and found the candidate a great fit for the role. It is your gut feeling that this candidate will perform well in the organization. But, the thing about gut feelings is that they can sometimes go horribly wrong. There are various stories circulating in the recruiting domain about negligent hiring claims, litigation and lost business due to the hiring of a wrong employee or an employee with a troubled past. This makes it very important to conduct background checks on the candidates you hire.
But even if you decide to conduct background checks but get your timing wrong, there is a high chance that you will either waste lot of money (if you conduct checks too early in the process) on unnecessary checks or the candidate will go to another organization (if you conduct checks too late or if the background check process takes too long). In this blog we will discuss the right time to conduct background checks during the hiring process.
Timing is everything when it comes to hiring a top talent
It has been observed that most of the candidates in today’s market get circumspect when they do not hear back after the interview. This makes them move to the next best organization for an interview. The problem is that even though hiring managers stick to their hiring and screening protocols, there is every chance of missing out on a great talent.
There are two ways hiring managers can tackle the situation:
- Make a job offer before conducting a background checks
- Make a job offer after conducting background checks
Let us look at each of these scenarios and understand the role of hiring manager:
1. Make a Job Offer Before Conducting Background Check
If the hiring manager makes a job offer to the candidate before conducting the background check, there is a probability of selecting a wrong candidate for the position. It can have an adverse effect on the organization resulting in safety issues while dealing with customers, lack of result oriented output by the candidate selected and occurrence of theft and violence in the workplace.
2. Make a job offer after conducting background checks
If the hiring managers wait till the completion of the screening process and then extend the job offer to the candidate, it can result in the candidate losing interest in the job and going to another organization. Screening process can sometimes get delayed due to various factors. That is why waiting till the screening process is completed can be risky
So if problem can arise in both the cases, when should you conduct background screening?
The Best Time to Fit in Background Checks in the Hiring Process
There are different times when conducting a background check can give best results and this is totally dependent on an organization’s requirement and processes.
- Request the candidate to fill out an application and a separate document when they submit their resume and take their permission to run the screening.
- If you are going to conduct more than one round of interview during the hiring process, start the screening before inviting the candidate for the final round of interviews.
- When you are going to conduct only a single interview, inform the candidate that the job offer is provisional and dependent on the results of the background check. It is also important to get a written consent from the candidate in the form of a separate document apart from the job application.
Legal Implications of Carrying Out Background Checks on Candidates
Different countries have different laws that take into account the time when an employer can extend a job offer or perform a background check on the candidate. Ban the Box Laws in several US cities and states makes it compulsory for employers to make a conditional offer of employment before conducting the background check on candidates.
These laws also specify whether or not they can be applicable to private and / or public employers. If there is a highly sensitive job in these organizations, employers can conduct background check before giving the job offer to the candidate.
In case, if you feel it is too expensive to conduct background checks on all the candidates interviewed, wait until the final interview round and then start the screening process. This will give you enough time to get the screening results of the candidate thereby in all probability you will be able to extend the job offer immediately to the candidate once the interview process gets over.
cFirst Can Help You!
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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.