Background checks are a critical piece of the hiring puzzle. They are the most accurate way to verify the credentials and claims of candidates, but many companies take a lax approach or even ignore background checks altogether. Use this guide to develop a background check process to help you thoroughly vet candidates.

Employment History
Verifying employment history is critical but it is important to be reasonable. For example, if the candidate is off by one month in their employment dates with one company, don’t assume they are trying to mislead you, they could just be mistaken. However, if the dates are off by years, if the job titles don’t match up (they were an associate but claimed to be a manager), or if no one can verify they worked at the company etc., these should be considered red flags.

Education and Licenses
It is easy to verify college degrees and professional licenses, so don’t skip this step, especially if degrees and licenses are a compliance issue in your industry. You do not want to hire someone who is unlicensed and who can put the entire organization at risk. However, many schools require the consent of the student or graduate before they will release any information outside of degree earned.

Drug Screening
Drug screening is essential for positions that require the use of heavy machinery or equipment, and in positions where people are working with children, the elderly or the sick. However, any company may conduct drug screening if they see fit. Make sure to use a reputable organization with a good track record when choosing a screening partner.

A strong candidate will have a list of references prepared. Those people should be able to speak to the candidate’s work experience and personal character. However, references are carefully chosen so it is important to spend some time with references to dig a little deeper and uncover important details about the candidate’s successes, failures and character.

What You Can’t Look Into
There are laws that protect candidates from overly-intrusive background checks. Employers may not look at a candidate’s, medical records, certain consumer reports, old arrest records or bankruptcies more than 10 years old. Keep in mind that employers may also only check an individual’s workers’ compensation records in extenuating circumstances.

Always Be Consistent
Your background check process should be applied the same way in order to avoid claims of discrimination. Different job titles may require different levels of investigation, but for the same job title, the process should always be consistent. Working with a third-party on background checks can help ensure that the process is thorough and applied equally across the board.

Are you looking for top talent?

If your company is looking to improve your hiring process, including background checks, partner with the staffing experts at Bonney Staffing today. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals.