How to Utilize Candidate Background Checks

In an age when it’s hard to read the news without seeing stories about employee misconduct or even digital thefts, it’s clear that proper screening could have helped prevented quite a few problems before they happened. On the other hand, an inconsistent or poorly-developed background check process can create more problems for a business than it will solve. If you do choose to use background checks in your hiring process, make sure you’re aware of the benefits, the risks, and the legal considerations before you begin.

Basics of Employee Background Checks

Basic background checks can give you this information about your job candidates:

  • Criminal or sex offender records
  • Driving records
  • If requested, credit and credential checks

You can use these screenings to make sure that the person you want to hire fairly represented himself in interviews and on the job application. If you’re hiring for line positions, you may not need to bother with the credit or credential checks; however, you may want to include them for positions with trust and authority. These screenings may cost from $30 to $80, so you should balance the cost with the type of information that might be important to have.

Create a Consistent and Sensible Policy for Background Checks

These are some suggestions to make the most of your investment in screening reports:

  • Your company might request different information for different positions. You may not need as much information about warehouse workers as you need for financial professionals, but you need to remain consistent for various job levels.
  • Make sure you use services that comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and remain aware that these reports could contain information that is misleading or even outright wrong. If something in the report raises a red flag,we recommend that you give the candidate a chance to respond.
  • Consult with an employment attorney to make sure that you’re complying with federal, state, and local laws. Some states have rules that protect privacy more than other states do.
  • Obtain the candidate’s permission before ordering reports. You must have permission to obtain such documents as consumer credit reports, military records, and academic transcripts.

Why You Should Strongly Consider Third-Party Background Checks

You may assume it will cost less to simply call a few references and check out your job prospects on social media than to pay for a background check. Some items you find in your check may not automatically disqualify the candidate either. However, if your new employee doesn’t really have the background he claims or has a criminal history, isn’t this something you would want to know about? Background checks do cost money, but you can pay a lot more if you make a mistake when you hire somebody you should not have hired.


About World Wide Specialty Programs

For the last 50 years, World Wide Specialty Programs has dedicated itself to providing the optimal products and solutions for the staffing industry. As the only insurance firm to be an ASA commercial liability partner, we are committed to that partnership and committed to using our knowledge of the industry to provide staffing firms with the best possible coverage. For more information about Staffing Professional Liability Insurance or any other coverage, we have available to protect your staffing business, give us a call at (800) 245-9653 to speak with one of our representatives.