3 Steps to a Compliant Background Checks

In today’s article you are going to read the three steps that could help you perform more compliant background check.

Whether you are new to background screening or a seasoned veteran, we hope you get value from the tips in this post.

Here are the 3 steps to a compliant background checks:

  1. Verify candidate identities
  2. Investigate like a detective
  3. Review the background screening report

Protect Your Company with Compliant Background Checks

Ironically, the smallest department in corporations comprising thousands of employees is often the Human Resources team. Yet the HR personnel themselves are on the frontline, shielding the company from a myriad of potential threats. Doing so by screening job applicants and hand-picking the few that will eventually be allowed into the corporate fold.

The HR team’s success in recruiting the right people for the right job while tactfully keeping potentially bad hires at bay largely depends on their ability to process job applications efficiently without cutting corners to ensure compliant background checks. 

Multinational corporations deal with tens of thousands of applications a year only to hire a dozen or so at the end of the annual recruitment drive. Those job offers aren’t made after pulling names from a hat. Each candidate goes through a rigorous screening process comprising numerous background checks. 

Here we’ll highlight essential steps to ensure your organization uses a compliant background screening process

1. Verify candidate identities

Don’t ever skip this step! Verifying candidate identities is a vital first step in compliant background screening. You’ll prevent problems in the long run and streamline the rest of the screening process. Any discrepancies on the application must be identified and investigated before proceeding any further. 

Surprisingly, mistakes are found on about half of the applications and resumes received in any given recruiting campaign. Often they are innocent spelling mistakes but discrepancies can be a warning flag that something is amiss and should be investigated further. This is where the HR team plays a pivotal role in preventing infiltration by unscrupulous applicants who have furnished their applications with misleading information or even told outright lies. They could be trying to cover up a dubious past such as a criminal record or being fired by a previous employer. It’s not uncommon to come across a case of identity theft or fraud by an applicant impersonating someone else. 

For this initial part of the background screening process to verify candidate identities, background screening providers check the applicants’ names and other information such as date of birth against their social security numbers in official databases. They can also get information from credit bureau databases. However, even if all a candidate’s details are in order, that in itself doesn’t prove the applicant is who they claim to be. A face-to-face meeting or a video call would be a final step in the ID verification process.

2. Investigate like a detective

With identity verification out of the way, the next step in the screening process is to verify where the candidates have lived and worked, which is why it’s important to verify identities first to ensure the information you use is accurate.

Long periods of unemployment could indicate they’ve served jail time. Background screening providers scour criminal databases in hundreds of local jurisdictions to conduct what amounts to a ‘national’ criminal database search. However, a candidate’s name appearing in a criminal record database doesn’t automatically make them a criminal. They might have appeared in court or been involved in a case but that doesn’t mean they were guilty of committing a crime. Investigators must check the verdict in courthouse records to verify any suspicions. These investigations can take up to a week or more if court records have to be checked in several locations.

3. Review the background screening report

Your background screening provider should hand you a report detailing the results of identity verification and the findings of subsequent background checks for hiring managers to review. Reviewing the background screening report helps you make informed decisions about which candidates are the most suitable for an interview or a job offer.   

Reviewing records of your background screening checks ensures that you have done everything in your power to verify the information provided by candidates should anything go awry in future. Keep in mind that employers are legally obligated to provide a copy of the background screening report to any candidates that request it.

Conclusion: Compliant background checks provide best protection

Remember the three steps described above help you create a compliant background screening process in place, which means doing your due diligence every step of the way to ensure your investigations are lawful, transparent and fair while adhering to data protection and privacy laws. The process instils an element of trust between employer and employees and provides the best protection against potential lawsuits, loss of revenue and reputation.


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