best practices for background checks

What’s a best practice when it comes to background checks?

To help you with best practices for carrying out background checks on candidates, we asked hiring managers and business leaders this question for their best insights. From defining the scope and nature of the background checks to maintaining consistent guidelines, there are several best practices that you may follow to ensure sound and thorough background checks on employees you are hiring. 

Here are five best practices for background checks:

  • Define The Scope and Nature of The Background Checks
  • Hire The Best Organization To Conduct The Checks
  • Automate With an Applicant Tracking System
  • Do Background Checks Before and After Hiring
  • Maintain Consistent Guidelines


Define The Scope and Nature of The Background Checks

Before conducting a background check, defining its scope and nature would be essential. However, operating a complete background check could be pricey and time-consuming. Therefore, it’s necessary to identify what information you require to help make the right hiring decision. Outline the vital details you will need, for example, the applicant’s educational background, work history, credit report, and criminal records. Moreover, as per the FCRA, applicants must be informed of their right to a full-fledged description of the scope and nature of the background check if it’s an investigative report that includes personal information.

Caroline Lee, CocoSign


Hire The Best Organization To Conduct The Checks

When it comes to background checks, ensure that you are using the best organization you can afford. You do not want to run the risk of hiring an individual without doing a deep dive into their personal and professional history. It will create such a headache for you in the long run if you onboard a particular individual who has an unsavory past. Save yourself the trouble and hire the best organization you can to conduct a proper background check.

Jorge Vivar, Mode


Automate With an Applicant Tracking System

One of the main best practices we employ for background checks is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This allows us to automate a great deal of the tedious aspects of background checks, and makes the experience more efficient for the candidates. An ATS sorts through the candidates and takes the information entered into the application system and runs a screening on the applicant’s background. If it runs across anything it is programmed to flag, it flags it and removes the applicant from the system and notifies them they were not selected. 

With an ATS, all I really have to do is the interview and then make the decision. All of the other parts leading up to that, besides maybe scheduling the interview, is handled by the ATS. It may seem counterintuitive but taking the human element out of the equation increased our retention of new hires by weeding out the undesired candidates.

Devin Schumacher, SERP


Do Background Checks Before and After Hiring

It can be beneficial to do background checks not only before hiring employees, but periodically after they have been hired. You never know if anything in an employee’s background history may have changed unless you check, and you could end up discovering some important information.

Drew Sherman, RPM


Maintain Consistent Guidelines

Without a set guideline, you will conduct certain types of background checks randomly, which will harm the hiring process and expose you to accusations of discrimination. Consistent and well-documented background check guidelines will ensure that the process moves forward smoothly, even if there is turnover during the hiring process. If the hiring manager, for example, is unable to work or leaves the company, you can still proceed with your job candidate without a hitch. When established guidelines are in place, the number of incidents where people make mistakes because they had to make a judgment call significantly reduces.

Charles Ngechu, EasyPaydayLoan



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