The leaders you hire profoundly impact your company’s culture, productivity, competitiveness, and financial outlook. As stated by Indeed, effective leaders “provide clarity of purpose, motivate, and guide the organization to realize its mission.”
Conversely, poor leadership comes at a price. For example, marketplace data shows that “71% of Millennials will leave their job within two and three years if they feel their leadership skills are lacking and there’s no room for growth” – and “79% of employees will quit their jobs due to lack of appreciation from leaders.”
So, what steps should your company take to thoroughly vet new executive hires to make sure they’re the right fit?
To help you get started, we have compiled a list of executive background check best practices. Following these steps can help ensure you are bringing the right leaders on board – and leaving the wrong ones behind. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Get the Applicant’s Permission in Advance
This is a must to ensure your due diligence remains in compliance. We recommend outlining the screening process in detail, in writing. Also, remember that you are required to have your candidate sign off on conducting the background check.
2. Verify Resume Data
It can be time consuming to get in touch with all of an experienced job candidate’s past employers and educational institutions. But this process is essential to protecting your interests. For example, a 2022 survey performed by ResumeLab found that most of us (93% of respondents) know someone who has lied on a resume. And the three most common lies relate directly to resume content, including “work experience (27%), skills (18%), and job duties (17%).” Taking the time to verify a candidate’s resume is worth it to feel confident in a candidate.
3. Perform a Criminal Background Check
This involves gathering information on the candidate from municipal, state, county, and federal criminal records. A thorough search of these databases will reveal any past legal records for your candidate, essential information to ensuring your future leader shares your company’s core values.
4. Check Social Media Sites
Social media sites are treasure troves of information on an applicant’s character and behaviors. Accordingly, hiring managers are increasingly scrutinizing what potential hires post about themselves online. Consider that a full 78% of U.S. hiring decision-makers surveyed believe their employees should maintain a “work-appropriate social media profile,” and 55% have found content on social media sites that caused them to reject a job applicant. It is important to ensure that a third-party Consumer Reporting Agency is conducting the social media background research and doing so within compliance to ensure the proper protocols are being taken to be compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
5. Perform a Civil Background Check
Like social media profiles, civil background checks can uncover insights on the behaviors of your candidate that speak to their values and judgement, and it can also expose liabilities. Civil lawsuits can expose a history of misconduct, breaches of contract, restraining orders, etc. They can also uncover financial liabilities, such as tax liens or bankruptcies, which may be important for a candidate being considered for a role with financial involvement. When conducting a civil background check, make sure you obtain the candidate’s consent in advance and that the process adheres to all FCRA guidelines.
6. Run a Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) Check
In today’s global economy, it is quite common for senior-level executives to travel – and drive – on a company’s behalf. Checking a prospective hire’s MVR can help you mitigate risks should your new executive need to drive on the job.
7. Comply with All Governing Employment Laws
Privacy laws continue to change both here in the U.S. and overseas. Accordingly, it is imperative that your hiring practices remain in full compliance with regulations at the local, state, and federal levels, including the FCRA. As part of that, you will want to ensure you have a clear understanding of your responsibilities as the end user of the information and be prepared to do adverse action when necessary. Failure to comply with governing laws can result in costly, damaging legal disputes with potential hires.
8. Don’t Discriminate
Period. While leadership roles have their own unique requirements and responsibilities, you must have standardized hiring practices in place that ensure the equitable treatment of applicants for positions at all levels of your organization.
Under the FCRA, applicants for any position within your company are barred from being rejected over religious and political views, race, gender, sexual orientation, and other personal attributes that may be articulated during the interview process – or on full display within an applicant’s social media profiles. Remember, too, that unsuccessful candidates have the legal right to know why they were rejected for a position – and may be calling you back to see whether discrimination was a factor.
9. Hire an Unbiased, Reputable Agency to Assist
We are here to help. At Subrosa, our background checks are tailored to your specific needs. Our attention to detail and deep knowledge of employment law ensure that the scope of screening uncovers all the information you need to make sound, informed hires.
Our experienced team of professionals is there for you every step of the way, working diligently on your behalf and representing your company with the utmost professionalism. Whether contacting an applicant’s past employers, interviewing references, searching social media sites, or verifying degrees, we treat every point of contact with respect.
Our holistic approach leverages the industry’s most advanced technologies, including our online client platform, which empowers our investigators with all the tools they need to work efficiently and compliantly while keeping you fully informed on our progress.
Let us deliver the results you need to make great hiring decisions – and great first impressions on your future employees. Contact a Subrosa representative today to get started.