The human asset of a company is deemed to be the most important part of the company. The productivity, talent, and skills are important for the continued success of a company-and the quality of people you hire can spell the difference between success and failure. Review of the applicants' resume and screening the applicant through an interview and background check are important before making that final decision of offering a position in your company.
For a number of reasons, companies conducting background checks are increasing. According to statistics, 96% of companies conduct a background check on new hires. These background checks are getting more complicated and comprehensive than ever before. With more ways of getting information, and more data open for access by the public (free people search at that), there are more ways to verify the authenticity and qualifications of a prospective hire-this lessens the possibility of making errors in hiring.
While an application process initially involves interviews and tests (intelligence and psychometric), employment screening includes verification of a number of items such as:
- Academic records. If you stated in your resume that you graduated from the University of California, prospective employers will check not just your enrollment and degree there, but your grades as well. While it may be true that you graduated from that school, schools verify the authenticity of your grades. If you stated that you never had a failing grade, or finished your degree in 3 years, schools can verify this information.
- Credit records. Your credit records, especially for positions involving financial transactions, may also be checked. While there are differeing laws per state primarily for the privacy and security protection of the individual, employers can access pertinent information.
- Criminal check. A vital part of any employee background check is to check police records for any criminal record. Any significant findings can be investigated before a decision can be made about your pending employment.
- Personal references. What other people say about your professionalism is also a factor. Most of the time, they should not be relatives, who can bias feedback about you.
- Previous employers. Your employment history can be checked (locally or nationwide).
Disabilities, for one, should not play a role in the hiring process. In the US, equal employment opportunity laws state that you cannot ask about a person's disability or consider that aspect in applications.
Other companies may also choose to outsource the background check process. By obtaining the services of another company, you can get more complete and detailed information about your candidate. Another implication is obtaining legal immunity if you obtain information through this means.
Background verification may include any or all of the aspects listed above. For job applicants, it is important that you clearly state the correct information in your application. You do not want to be taken off the prospective hiring list because of incorrect information or misrepresentation in your resume. For employers, HR and recruitment practitioners, as with all other business activities, ethics should play a role in the processes.