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Conducting Baseline Studies and Background Checks on Employees

by William Beel
Background Checks

In most companies, verification of employment comprises commercial, educational, criminal, and (sometimes) financial records. Generally, most businesses contract with external employment verification companies that specialize in background checks for recruiting honest and reliable employees. 

These employment verification companies validate records to determine if an applicant is the same person he says he is and if there are any red flags in his personal or professional history. 

Based on the restrictions imposed by the state government, these records may include an education verification, criminal history check, credit history check, driving history check, and even a medical record. 

Why do businesses perform background checks?

There are numerous reasons why background checks are often used while hiring:

The company may want to ensure that the candidate is telling the truth. According to estimates, more than 40% of resumes contain some sort of false or misleading information, so businesses want to make sure that an applicant can do what is necessary for the specific position. After making the hiring decision, the company may want to advertise your qualifications to the client, and if the information is found to be false, such a thing can have negative consequences on the employer. 

A company can choose to perform a background check to see if you actually graduated from the same college you have mentioned in your resume or to confirm that you worked for your previous employer during the time listed in your resume or your job application.

These verifications of employment can also be used to protect companies from liability issues if employees misbehave. Organizations can sometimes be held liable for negligence for not conducting thorough research. 

For example, if a ride-sharing company hires someone with poor driving skills, they may be liable if the driver is involved in an accident. In such cases, the ride-sharing company is expected to confirm the driving records of any candidate before being hired. 

What can candidates do to get ready?

There are several steps applicants can take if they believe a potential employer is conducting verification of employment on them: 

Get copies of your notes before the interview. Request a copy of your driving record from the Traffic police department if the job you are applying for requires driving skills. If you were involved in some sort of lawsuit, contact the court where the case is being heard. 

Be honest. Don’t try to hide anything from your future employer; in most cases, they’ll find out anyway. If you know that some discrepancies will arrive during your background check that might cause concern, contact your company as soon as possible. 

Pay bills always on time. Such a thing will help you keep your finances in order. Payment consistency depicts that you are financially responsible, and this will also help improve your overall credit score.

Social Media: This aspect of background checks is generally overlooked. However, nowadays, hiring managers are increasingly performing social media profile verification of candidates, so it’s necessary to keep your profile clean from any unwanted attention. As a responsible candidate, make sure all your social media accounts, blogs and personal websites are up to date and free from anything that can paint a negative picture. 

Information included in verification of employment

Before a company can obtain an employee background report or conduct a verification using employment verification companies, the company must notify you in writing and obtain your written permission.

Checking employment history

Generally, employment history includes all the companies you have worked for, your job titles, and the employment and salary dates for each of your jobs.

An employer history check is performed by the future employer to confirm that the employment information included on your resume is accurate. 

What other information will employers look for?

Employers are more frequently conducting verification of employment than in the past. There are various reasons for such occurrence, including concerns regarding negligent employment lawsuits.

However, employee background checks do not include all the information that many companies are looking for. If you are applying for a new job, you can expect to encounter some of the following information requests:

Credit checks for applicants

There are various types of drug and alcohol tests that job applicants may be asked to undertake. Moreover, a job offer may be subject to pre-employment drug testing and screening. 

Businesses are increasingly performing credit checks on new resources as well as employees being considered for promotions. The information available in your credit report can make it challenging to find a job and also become grounds for unsettling you. Bad credit history can easily become a problem, especially if the job requires money and financial information.

Drug and alcohol tests

There are various types of drug and alcohol tests that job applicants may be asked to undertake. Moreover, a job offer may be subject to pre-employment drug testing and screening. 

Criminal record and background checks

Finding whether an employee has a criminal record is a crucial step in assessing the risk of bringing that person into your company. While not every crime would automatically prevent a candidate from being hired, having appropriate knowledge allows companies to make an informed decision. 

What is a background check for companies?

Employers perform background checks (also called verification of employment) either in-house or by hiring employment verification companies to ensure you are the best candidate. 

According to the employer’s criteria, verification of employment may include the candidate’s criminal record, education, employment history, credit history, motor vehicles, and license and vital records.

If you are actively searching for a job, it is necessary to learn about your rights, including verification of employment, and be ready to answer questions about the information that may come up. 

Always remember that employee background verification is as important as resumes and cover letters – it’s best to be prepared before a problem arises. 

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