What Employers Should Look For in a Background Screening Report

Now that nearly 75% of employers have reported that they run background screenings on new hires, getting the right information on job applicants is critical. When an employer fails to conduct a background check on a new employee, he or she hires a relative stranger and gives that person access to company information, assets, and resources. Whether a business is a small, local entity or a major conglomerate, the quality and integrity of its employees is paramount in providing safety and security in the workplace.

Making sure employees are honest and reliable is important, and the right background screening report can help employers develop their understanding and trust of potential hires through a comprehensive screening process that contains the right information. While background reports can expose dishonesty, they can also verify information an employer finds valuable. A complete background screening report should contain the following items in order to make well-informed hiring decisions:

  • Criminal records searches illuminate “convictions of serious crimes that would affect the candidate’s ability to do the job.” A thorough screening will search the major criminal databases (like the National Sex Offender Registry), but it will also look up criminal information outside of the applicant’s residential history. Quality criminal history searches give employers the information they need to know based on research that is then verified according to FCRA guidelines.
  • Employment verifications check applicant-provided information regarding job history against what the employer provides when contacted by the third-party screening firm. Items that might be verified include dates of employment, salary, and job title, and the report may also include employer answers to questions regarding the employee’s job performance.
  • Professional references contain contact information for the references the employee provides as well as a statement from the reference on the employee’s conduct and behavior.
  • Education verifications also have the potential to expose dishonesty by checking educational facts the applicant provides against what the school of attendance has on file. These verifications should include dates of attendance, GPA, and type of degree.
  • Credit reports are not necessary for all employment background screenings, but they are helpful for employers hiring individuals in charge of financial holdings and assets.

Employers should think of background checks as a get-to-know-you for job candidates in whom they express serious interest. Obtaining a comprehensive employment screening report requires money and research, but the process provides employers with an investment in workplace safety as well as the ability to turn an interesting stranger into a valuable company asset.

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