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Never Underestimate the Power of Good Background Screening

Posted on: September 22nd, 2011 | Category: hiring process, How To Hire Good Employees, Legal Issues When Hiring, Our Blog

Yeah, yeah. We know. Conducting proper background screenings is expensive and most companies these days needed that new hire yesterday. Does that make it OK to bag the screening process when a candidate looks, you know, pretty legit? Or maybe do a “light” background screening?

In a word: No!

Any bad hire is costly to any employer, and for a smaller business it can be especially devastating. How do these people fly in under the radar? Sometimes bad hires are made because candidates lie in the application and interview process and their lies go undetected. Bad hires also occur because important information about candidates was either not requested or not obtained. “A good background screening can be your best defense in these circumstances,” says Bonnie Levitt, MSW, PHR, hireVision’s Director of Hiring Management.

The practice of pre‐employment background screening is growing, however screening practices and policies still vary widely. Once you receive a signed release form from your applicant you may begin your search. In it’s most simplistic forms, background checks may amount to not much more than a simple Google search or a couple of telephone calls to work and personal references. More extensive background screenings may include everything from validation of education, certifications, and work history, to drug testing and criminal, credit, and military service background checks.

Doing these background checks isn’t something just anybody can do. From the excellent white paper “Background Screening: Screen Now, Save Later” by Constance Semler, courtesy of our friends over at Sterling Infosystems:

Resource and Expertise Requirements

Thorough pre‐employment background screening is time‐and‐resource‐intensive. This is a challenge for all organizations, and small and medium‐sized businesses in particular. Pre‐ employment background screening also requires specialized expertise that recruiters and employers often lack. For example, “criminal background check” means different things to different people. Not everyone knows all applicable laws or the limits of specific data sources. Laws about background checks can differ among jurisdictions, making screening tricky at times.

In addition, screening entails more than the actual checks. Employers must also obtain formal documented consent from candidates, and manage the process and the documents. In addition, many organizations require employees to sign company codes of conduct, and this process must be managed and documented as well.

For more information about how hireVision can assist with important hiring process management functions, call, 610-443-0119 or email us.

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