Background checking is a vital practice within your company’s hiring process. Vetting applicants before they join your firm is one of the most effective ways to mitigate the many risks associated with a bad hire – which can range from damage to client relationships and your company’s reputation to substantial legal and operating costs. In fact, research from Zippia shows that the average cost of a negligent hire is 30% of that employee’s salary and that the overall cost of a bad hire can run as high as $240,000.
To ensure new team members bring the experience, skills, character, and work ethic they promise, we have assembled the following background check guidelines to help your hiring managers or human resources personnel effectively verify personal and professional data on job applicants and make informed hiring decisions.
Understand Employment Laws
As a business owner, human resources professional, or hiring manager, it is important that your hiring practices comply with all federal, state, and local laws – and that they adhere to any international regulations as well, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), should your prospective hire be located outside the U.S.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), all forms of discrimination are strictly prohibited by law, including any hiring bias “based on race, color, national origin, sex, or religion; disability; genetic information (including family medical history); and age (40 or older).” Any applicants who have reason to believe discrimination has adversely impacted them through the hiring process have the legal right to file a charge with the EEOC.
The EEOC also reminds companies to comply with all employment regulations outlined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). These include limiting the records you gather on an applicant to only those filed within the past seven years to protect the applicant’s privacy. While there are some exceptions to this rule, keeping your search within a seven-year window is recommended. Exceptions to this mandate vary from state to state.
Under the FCRA, employers conducting background checks must also obtain the applicant’s written permission in advance. As a best practice, it is advised that you inform the applicant of the specific data and records you will be collecting as part of your due diligence. The applicant must also be given the opportunity to review the background check once completed and correct any mistakes that appear. Additionally, when applicants are not selected based on any negative information revealed through the background checking process, they have the right to be informed on why they were rejected.
Verify Resume Data
To mitigate risks when hiring a new employee, you should verify as much information as possible from the applicant’s resume. This includes contacting past employers to verify job titles and employment dates, as well as confirming any degrees or certifications with their respective institutions. Contacting references is highly beneficial as well, as this practice will reveal, in a qualitative manner, how a candidate has performed and interacted with others on the job. Conducting due diligence at this level of detail may also uncover whether the applicant has embellished any of his or her qualifications – a data point that speaks to the individual’s trustworthiness.
Check Public Records
This process includes everything from running civil and criminal background checks to obtaining the applicant’s motor vehicle record (MVR). Together, these data sources shed light on any misconduct, breaches of contract, liens, bankruptcies, and other personal, financial, or legal liabilities an applicant may have that could negatively impact your business.
Review Social Media Profiles, Posts
Social media profiles can reveal quite a bit of personal information about a potential new hire. And most organizations conduct a comprehensive social media search as part of their new employee screening process.
When researching an applicant’s social media footprint, it is important to check for posts and images related to hate speech, as well as any insults, bullying, or obscene language, and any references to drug use or violence. It is also valuable to know how many followers a prospective employee has on any given platform or account, and whether the individual is considered an influencer who actively markets specific content, products, or services.
While this data can be very informative for hiring managers, remember to perform these searches in an entirely unbiased manner, in full compliance with FCRA discrimination laws.
Consider an Outsourcing Model
To ensure your background checks are complete, accurate, and compliant with all current employment laws, your company should consider outsourcing the service to an experienced, reputable firm. This practice will not only give you the peace of mind that you are effectively vetting prospective hires, it will also free up your internal staff to focus on more productive operational and strategic initiatives.
When choosing a firm, look for one with a breadth of expertise, including within and outside your industry. Make sure the partner you choose offers full flexibility to customize the screening process, so you can obtain all the information you need to confidently move forward with your hiring decisions.
At Subrosa, we bring decades of experience to every background check we conduct, having served companies across a range of industries both within and outside the U.S. for more than 20 years. Our expert investigators conduct their research with the utmost integrity, discretion, and respect for all involved, and we tailor the scope of screenings to your company’s unique requirements.
Our holistic approach to background checks is supported by an advanced online client platform and portal that enable our investigators to work diligently and expeditiously on your behalf, while enabling you to easily track our progress at every step. With our expert investigators and technological resources powering the search, you receive all the attention to detail you need, including our expert recommendations and guidance, to thoroughly evaluate an applicant’s background and make your hiring decision with confidence.
Transform your hiring processes by partnering with Subrosa. Contact us today to learn more about our background checking services.