Background Check Essentials You Shouldn’t Ignore

Background Check Essentials You Shouldn’t Ignore

Background checks are not just another step in the hiring process; they are essential for verifying employment eligibility, credentials, and other candidate claims.

Many companies take a lax approach — or worse, ignore background checks altogether. This can lead to significant financial and legal penalties, costing thousands of dollars.

A thorough employee verification process not only builds a qualified workforce but also mitigates risks while ensuring compliance and peace of mind.

Employee Verifications: What To Look At

Develop a comprehensive background check process using this guide:

Employment History

It’s crucial to verify employment history accurately, but also reasonably.

If a candidate’s employment dates are off by a month, it might be a simple mistake rather than an attempt to deceive.

Employer Tip: Make sure it all checks out. Be wary if:

  • Employment dates are off by years
  • Job titles don’t match (e.g., an associate claiming to be a manager)
  • No one can verify the candidate worked at the company

Employment Eligibility

Hiring workers without proper vetting can result in hefty financial penalties up to $2,700 per instance on each I-9, which is a required federal immigration document that verifies employment eligibility of people working in the US.

Knowingly hiring unauthorized workers can cost your company upwards of $27,000 (Experian).

Employer Tip: Consider partnering with a staffing firm that includes this in their services to stay compliant and confident.

Education and Licenses

Always verify college degrees and professional licenses, particularly when they’re compliance requirements in your industry.

You do not want to hire someone who is unlicensed and who can put the entire organization at risk.

Employer Tip: Most institutions require consent from the graduate to release information beyond degree or certification earned.

Drug Screening

Drug screening is essential for positions that require the use of heavy machinery, or working with children, the elderly, or in a medical setting with ill patients.

However, companies can also choose to screen at their discretion.

Employer Tip: Make sure to choose a reputable screening partner with a strong track record.


A prepared candidate will have a list of references who can vouch for their work experience and personal character.

Employer Tip: Go beyond the surface with references to uncover deeper insights into the candidate’s performance and personality.

What You Can’t Look Into

There are laws that protect candidates from overly-intrusive background checks.

Employers may not access a candidate’s medical records, certain consumer reports, or arrest records and bankruptcies older than ten years.

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.

Find the Best: Are You Ready?

If you’re ready to enhance your hiring process with thorough background checks, let’s talk. Reach out to Bonney Staffing for exceptional support and expert advice regarding employment verifications, workforce management, and more.

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