In-order to safeguard a company as well as to ensure that they are getting the best possible employee for the job role, it is necessary for companies to conduct a mandatory background check as part of the hiring process. Generally companies trust the information that is shared by a candidate in their resume, and most of the information available is genuine. But there are some cases in which the information shared can be tampered and falsified. Hiring such candidates based on spurious information could later lead to damages that the company needs to have to deal with.
At a conference, a leading attorney had this to say about background checks – “not checking the past employment of potential new hires is one of the biggest mistakes employers can make.” This statement is so true. It is common knowledge that the past performance of a person will be the best indication as to the manner in which they are likely to perform at your business. The employer has a right to check such background information as it pertains to the criticality of the job role that is to be filled.
You do have to account for the fact that the performance of a person in their previous companies could have been restricted by situations and circumstances that were not in their hands, like a dysfunctional team, lack of proper management (gravitating to either being micro-managerial or improperly managed) – and these are proper reasons – however, the past performance is still a pretty good indicator and that is why hiring managers need to try and get as much info about a candidate’s job history as they possibly can.
The attorney further describes a resume as being “essentially a marketing tool for a candidate” and says that employers must be careful and scan resumes carefully for puffed up descriptions of the candidate’s abilities, as they mostly turn out to be fabricated information. This is very dangerous, because the same candidate once hired, will continue to lie and fabricate information on the job, and this could be a serious liability for the company as a whole.
What are some of the most common fabrications that can be found in the resume’s of prospective candidates?
- Fake or exaggerated job titles
- Skillsets, knowledge, abilities and experience that is not possessed by the candidate
- Fabricated dates of past employment used to hide gaps in employment years
- Blown up compensation figures that are not true (at all!)
To be on the safe side, it is recommended that employers go back and check the employment history of the candidate over a period of 5 years, although it wouldn’t hurt to go back 7 to 10 years as well. Most companies also check the social media profiles of the potential candidates to assess their behavioural instincts and to see if they would be a good fit for the company. It is recommended that companies tread carefully with this though, as many privacy lawsuits have cropped up due to companies rejecting candidates based on their social media habits.
Things to keep in mind when doing an Employee Background Check
A background check is an important part of the hiring process as it helps the employers to safeguard their reputations and their business, as well as in the creation and maintenance of a safe and productive working environment for all the employees who will be working directly with the new employee. Believe this – almost 50 percent of all resumes submitted to employers contain some form of falsified information and data about a candidate’s working history and past compensation. How about another statistic? Around 18 percent of all violent crimes happen at the office, and this is why it is imperative that a proper background check is performed on all prospective employees.
What is the necessity of a background check and how can it make the hiring process better?
- It aids the employer in making well-informed hiring decisions. With the help of profile screening and a thorough background check of the employee, an employer is able to understand the evidence presented to them, draw their conclusions off of the facts, and take the right decision regarding hiring that particular person and whether such a person is suitable or not for the position that is on offer.
- A background check well done greatly reduces the risk of employee misconduct, fraud, theft and so forth. The cost that it takes to perform a thorough background check of the new employee should be seen by a company as an insurance policy or an investment, that will benefit them in the long run. Businesses are made or broken down by their employees and proper check will ensure that the association with the new employee remains positive and fruitful.
- Some prospective employees have criminal records that prevent them from normally getting good jobs, and with their falsified resumes, they could try and get a job at a reputable establishment and scam them. A bad hire is a very costly hire for the company, and background screening can help save the company in the long run
- Verify social media behavior as well. Make sure you take the consent of the employee while doing this though, as some privacy and discrimination law suits can be filed against the company. Social media behavior is normally a good indicator of the mental stability of the person as well as to understand their proclivities, and deduce from that, whether they will be suitable for the company or not.
- Verify work history and compensatory details by checking in with the previous employers of the potential employee, rather than by relying on the statement of the candidate. Few companies might not share compensation data as it is privileged and private data, but they would be willing to confirm whether the person worked at their firm or not. Use this information in order to make an informed decision with the hiring process and this could save the company a lot of money and trouble in the long run. Make sure that the outcome of the hiring process happens after a thorough background check is completed and not vice versa.