Background Checks and Job Offers
May 24, 2007
Okay, so you’ve made a smart decision and decided to integrate the use of background checks into your hiring process. The question now is "at what point in the hiring process to I use this insightful tool"? The answer is different for every organization. For some organizations, the successful completion of a background check is the most influential part of the hiring decision, therefore the check is conducted at the beginning of the process. For others, it is used as a helpful tool to choose between equally qualified candidates and thus conducted somewhere between the first interview and the actual job offer. Some organizations will conduct it post offer and make the offer contingent upon the successful completion of the check. And yet others, will also make the offer contingent upon the successful completion of the check, but put them on the job before executing.
All of the aforementioned options are permissible and when used effectively, greatly benefit the employer. There are ramifications for each though. For instance, if the check is conducted at the onset of the hiring process, the organization is probably screening many more candidates than it will actually hire. The benefit is that rather than going completely through with the whole process, candidates can either move on or be eliminated right away. On the other end of the spectrum, those who wait until someone is on the job run the risk of employing and potentially having to terminate a candidate after they have made it through the entire process. The benefit of waiting is that they can breeze through the hiring process and get candidates on the job quickly.
At the end of the day, you have to make the best decision for your organization. The important thing is that you actually conduct a thorough search that allow you to make an informed hiring decision.