With today’s business climate being extremely competitive and highly litigious, conducting pre employment background checks has become a necessity. The fact is, background checks help protect companies, fellow employees and key stakeholders from negative impacts that can result with a bad hire. Unethical people, dishonest people and maladjusted people can seriously harm a company’s workforce, reputation and financial stability.
When a company elects to forgo pre employment background checks, this company assumes all risks for its employees’ behavior. This has been proven time and again with numerous situations where companies were charged with crimes, paid steep fines, and settled huge lawsuits because they failed to perform a simple pre-hire step that could have revealed a history of dangerous conduct.
A necessary but imperfect process
While the pre employment background check is necessary, it’s not perfect. The truth is, many background information sources rely on privately owned databases containing publicly available data. Things like identity theft, human data entry errors and data sharing can lead to record errors and data corruption, which can sometimes yield incorrect results. This is especially true with billions of records compiled on hundreds of millions of people.
Because background checks are not error-proof, before a company starts using them, they should learn as much as possible about available information sources and then research background screening companies.
Four Key Recommendations:
1) Interview background screening companies and ask them how long they have been in business, are they members of their trade association, how do they provide customer service, how do they perform background searches, and how do they ensure compliance. Also ask them to recommend industry Best Practices to maximize information accuracy.
2) Conduct a thorough Google search on the company to determine if they have ever been investigated/sued/fined for misconduct. Companies that have been fined or settled claims of industry misconduct should be avoided.
3) Select a screening provider that does not require a service contract. The service contract can hold a company hostage to the screening provider in situations where the company feels dissatisfied with service quality.
4) Select a company that has been in business for more than 10 years. There are plenty of these companies to choose from and they possess the knowledge of a rapidly evolving industry with changing regulations and trends. They will also have encountered virtually every possible scenario related to background screening and can draw upon this depth of experience to give you the best customer service possible.