4 Ways to Personally Benefit From Your Background Check Program
August 25, 2008
4 Ways to Personally Benefit From Your Background Check Program
Bolster your image as a valued business partner by taking advantage of these low tech solutions to improve the quality of your background checks.
The latest technological revolution that is percolating within the background check industry is the seamless, electronic transfer of information from a client to the background check company. Applicant tracking systems (ATS), XML Transfers and online job applications are all useful tools to reduce labor costs and go paperless. And don’t get me wrong, these are great solutions. However, we have seen many companies excited about these capabilities get right to the water’s edge, and then step away due to the complexity and resource commitments required to implement them.
On our end, we simply work with a client’s IT department; exchange schema, then plug and play. It tends to be a pretty simple process. However, we have noticed that for many of our clients, getting to that point can be challenging. In the face of competing projects, the resources that are allocated and the collaboration that needs to take place between IT, Legal, Human Resources, and other departments, even the best intentioned integration efforts can derail.
Luckily, there is still enough low hanging fruit, if picked properly, to create an even stronger screening program without immense investments of time and resources. At the same time, this is an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to your company and the value you can bring to the table as a business partner. Follow these simple steps and make yourself look good doing it.
What do you want us to find?
Some clients ask us to verify employment or education but don’t provide any information other than the name of the company or college the applicant attended. We find discrepancies on approximately 50% of all employment verifications and college degrees are among the most fraudulently claimed components of a background check. The more information we receive, the more we can compare and contrast to what we are told. Some companies and schools will only verify what is provided to us. If we receive nothing, there’s no way to ascertain if the degree, the title, the salary, the dates of employment or the reason for leaving he/she said in an interview were lies. For the clients that provide to us limited information, we report back fewer discrepancies, because there is nothing to compare what we are told. Let’s hope applicants for these companies are more honest! The result of getting this information ahead of time is a better background check which enables you to make an informed hiring decision.
How can you benefit? Put your company in a position to make a good hiring decision by telling us all you know. The more information we receive, the more thorough the background check. Take an extra minute when entering orders through My EmployeeScreen 4.0. If faxing orders, send us the job application, rather than the resume. Job applications tend to ask for more detailed information.
What do you want us to find, part II?
A comprehensive criminal check includes a felony and misdemeanor criminal records search under every name the applicant has gone by in every county the applicant lived, worked or went to school in over the last 7-10 years. We recommend our clients take this approach to accomplish their screening strategies. Choosing to not run all names and all counties often means missing criminal records that you may have otherwise found.
Many of our clients have begun using our instant Social Security Number Trace (Address History Search) tool when placing orders online. This feature gives our clients more control over their orders and allows them to choose alias names and counties for criminal research themselves. The primary advantage is that the client knows immediately how many previous addresses and/or alias names will be involved in the criminal background check. Clients that do not desire to run a full 7 year criminal check may utilize this functionality to limit the scope of the background check. It is important to note that using this tool for this purpose is not recommended, because it will defeat the purpose of running a best practice background check on your applicants. Exempting previous addresses from the criminal history research on a consistent basis WILL result in fewer criminal records identified and increase risk to your organization. Please contact our Client Relations Department or your Sales Representative if you would like more information on this tool.
How can you benefit? By choosing to run a thorough, compliant, criminal records check, you can mitigate the physical, legal and financial risks associated with hiring and employing a workforce. Decide to find all criminal records your applicant may have over the past 7-10 years. Prevent someone who should not have access to money, customers or employees from affecting your bottom line. Or, by the confidence generated from a good background check, hire those who should.
Save money by doing a better background check
That’s right. There is an opportunity to do better background checks and spend less money to do it. As companies across the world evolve from “doing background checks” to “doing better background checks” we have spent a lot of time collaborating with our clients on efforts to focus on the applicable services that offer the most benefit.
In conjunction with our clients, we’re shifting some programs away from conducting the same seven services (for instance) for each applicant across the board, no matter what. Instead we are creating screening programs based on levels of responsibility, or by position. Thus, we would now provide three services for example, for 33% of applicants, five services for the other 33%, and nine services for the remaining 33%. By reshuffling dollars, clients are able to do an even better background check for the level of candidates that need it most, while at the same time saving money across the board.
How can you benefit? On an annual basis, convene with your hiring or recruiting managers to reconfirm which services are most applicable. This communicates within your company that you are committed to making good hiring decisions while at the same time adhering to a budget, innovating and delivering cost savings.*
Use the resources at your disposal
Many areas of responsibility that Human Resources, Security, and Loss Prevention personnel oversee are extremely complex and regimented. These obligations can be well documented with clear standards. Non-conformity is usually easy to determine. In many cases, these regulations are dictated by a regulatory agency or legislative body.
The background check industry is not as clear cut. This is an evolving industry; one where state and federal legislatures propose vague umbrella laws like “all contractors should do a background check” and where court clerks allow or restrict criminal record information depending on the week. There are few mandates that stipulate the certain type of a background check that should be done in order to hire a certain type of applicant for a certain type of position. It is the “do it good” directive. Companies are told to do it, and to do it well, without guidance on how and without direction on what constitutes a thorough and compliant search.
So how can a company “do it good” without being told what that entails? Just ask! As a best practices provider, we get together. We talk. We listen. We ask questions. In tandem, we design a program that provides you with as much protection, information, and compliance at an affordable price.
How can you benefit? Take advantage of all we are willing to offer. Ask our opinion of your hiring program, your job application and your screening classifications. Demonstrate within your organization you are current with the changing nature of this industry and how the services you request continue to suit your needs.
Kevin Bachman is Vice President of Quality Service for Cleveland-based EmployeeScreenIQ, a best practices provider of pre-employment screening services throughout the U.S. and worldwide. Kevin can be reached at (800) 235-3954 ext. 450 or email@example.com”.
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