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How to Perform a Background Check Before Hiring a New Employee

Are you looking to ensure that you’re adding a quality member to your growing staff? Do you realize the need for a better screening process for your employees? If so, then you need to learn how to perform a background check.

Perhaps you’re a small business owner who’s going to add his/her first round of employees. Maybe you’re an HR representative that wants to prioritize safety and make sure the new members will gel with your current staff.

See below for an in-depth guide on the background check steps that you can take to streamline this process and find top-tier talent in your applicants.

1. List Some Goals for Your Background Checks

There’s a reason that you’re interested in improving your background check process. Perhaps you’ve been burned by previous employees in the past. Maybe you’re tired of hiring people that jump ship only a few months into their tenure at their position.

Whatever the case might be, listing some goals can be beneficial to creating your new background check policies. Once you understand the goals, you can create steps and qualifications to meet them. Let’s list a few potential goals out below:

  • Hiring employees from many different races, genders, and backgrounds
  • Finding employees that are interested in committing to your brand for the long haul
  • Increasing the safety and efficiency of your workplace by hiring competent workers
  • Improving the quality of your new hires from this day forward
  • Creating a hiring process in which all applicants have an equal opportunity
  • Finding employees with the potential to be promoted
  • Hiring employees that you can help maximize and grow their skill sets
  • Giving college kids their first shot at a position in their desired field

The list goes on and on. As you can see, these goals can all be used to gear a background check that improves the quality of your new hires.

2. Integrate Social Media Into Your Screening Process

The digital world has changed the corporate world forever. It’s changed the way we do sales, marketing, public relations, communications, and so on. Why wouldn’t it change the way we perform background checks as well? 

You aren’t the only one. CareerBuilder once did a survey (back in 2017) that revealed that 70-percent of employers were using social media to screen their candidates before they hired them. 

That was years ago. It’s safe to assume that number has increased since then. Truth be told, it adds a lot of merit to your screening process. Candidates reveal a lot about their personality through the content they create and share online.

By merely looking at a few social media platforms, you can get far more information on the applicant than any resume will ever tell you. Think about it…

You can go to LinkedIn to learn about their qualifications, education, and previous experience. You can visit their Facebook page to get a peek behind their social lives. 

If a candidate has been flooding their accounts with negative and offensive content, it’s fair to say they don’t share your company’s ideals. A candidate could have a degree from Harvard and 20 years of experience, but if they lack professionalism, they are a risk to your brand.

3. Offer Transparency in Your Hiring Process

As you may well know, there is a common misconception out there among applicants that employers don’t actually take the time to contact the references they’ll list. 

At first, you might take that as them questioning the diligence of employers, when actually, it’s a sign that applicants aren’t being given the transparency they deserve. Most employers don’t take the time to be transparent about their screening process.

In fact, it isn’t uncommon for an applicant to never hear back from an employer if they find something in the background screening they didn’t like.

Take more initiative. Be transparent with your candidates. Whatever your background screening process is, shine some light on it. This gives applicants the chance to explain their side of the story if there is something that might raise a red flag.

4. Get Consent to Run the Background Check

To piggyback off our last point about being transparent, did you know that you’re legally required to gain consent from candidates before running a background check?

To avoid any potential legal setbacks, you should look to get either verbal (recorded) or written consent that’s separate from the initial application. 

When requesting permission, be sure, to be honest about your background screening process and that a job offer will depend on the results of the test. 

5. Invest in a Screening Service

We’re all for getting your hands dirty and doing a little digging on your own. That’s part of the reason we suggested checking the social media accounts of your preferred candidates.

That said, you should also be looking for a way to streamline the hiring process. Part of that includes finding a trusted way to do an all-in-one background screening. Getting an employment background check service on your side will help with the entire process.

The one in the attached link includes things like background checks, drug tests, and credit identity checks to give you more confidence in those that you hire.

How to Perform a Background Check: Use a Refined Approach

Now that you have seen how to perform a background check that works, be sure to use this information to your advantage.

Start by identifying what you wish to accomplish. Are there hiring mistakes in the past that you’re trying to never duplicate again? Factor that into the equation!

Be sure to browse our website for more articles on background screening, as well as many other topics that you will enjoy.

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