Years ago, a hiring manager at a company would conduct interviews, pick the candidate that was best suited to their position on the basis of those interviews and their resume, perhaps make a few calls to the references provided by the potential hire and leave it at that.
Sometimes things worked out. Sometimes they didn’t. But that was just the way the world worked.
Times Have Changed
Things have changed a lot since those innocent days of old. In recent survey 96% of hiring managers reported that their company performs a full background screen before hiring an employee, up from 66% just ten years ago in 1996.
How extensive a background check is – is at the discretion of the individual employer but there are certain things that any good background check should include in order to provide adequate protections for the employer.
It is essential that an employer verifies the citizenship or immigration status of any potential employee and maintains proof that they have done so if the candidate is hired. The penalties imposed upon employers for hiring those who are not legally entitled to work in the United States have become particularly harsh and the ramifications for a small business can be devastating.
The Hidden Truth
It is also wise to go beyond calling a few of the last places of employment listed on a resume. In years past many people thought “padding” a resume was completely harmless. They would add experience that they never actually had or an educational qualifications that they never really gained – just to make themselves look better on paper. In tight financial times the process of training an employee who will quite simply, never be suitable makes little sense. In addition, if they are willing to lie on their resume, how can you be sure that they will make a trustworthy employee?
Most employers also conduct a criminal background check, since make no mistake, your company can be held liable for the actions of a new employee, especially if you failed to perform a background check.
Federal law mandates that you are required to have a candidate sign a form granting authorization to conduct a background check, and what it will entail, before you actually do so. This act alone can weed out some of the not-so-hot candidates as an honest person will have little to fear from such a check being performed. If someone is unwilling to undergo such scrutiny that may indeed be a sign that they are not the person they are presenting themselves to be.
The Advantages are Clear
One of the big advantages of working with a professional staffing agency is that all of this is completely taken care of for the employer before they interview a candidate. Discussing background checks at an interview is not always something many hiring managers are particularly comfortable with. In addition, the cost is something that the HR department in a smaller company may not be too happy about either. Therefore if you have the chance to begin an interview process secure in the knowledge that the candidate’s background has already been vetted everything will go far more smoothly and you can concentrate on the most important thing; finding the employee who is the best fit for your company.