Running a successful business is all about taking risks, and one of the biggest risks employers face is placing their trust in a new employee. According to a recent study by HireRight, 86 percent of companies that conduct pre-employment background screenings have discovered candidates who were dishonest about their experience or criminal history. Therefore, employers who fail to verify potential employees’ information will inevitably hire someone who was untruthful during the hiring process.
Employers have two options for conducting background checks: websites that allow you to do your own research or background check firms that handle the hard work for you. While doing it yourself may sound cheaper, using a firm can be less expensive in the long run because they keep your company compliant with hiring and privacy laws.
Do-It-Yourself Background Check Websites
You can simply sign up and start searching for anyone’s criminal records, but this information comes with an important caveat: Most background check websites explicitly state that their services should NOT be used for pre-employment screening because they are not compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In other words, the legal responsibilities of using such records for pre-employment screening falls entirely on the employer, so you’re opening yourself up to lawsuits and government investigations unless you process all of the mandated paperwork and follow all necessary procedures.
Employment Background Check Firms
You provide the name of the candidate, and the firm returns a report with all of the relevant information you need. Firms can conduct more extensive searches including Social Security number validation, employment and education verification, motor vehicle records, credit checks and even reference checks.
Not only can firms get you more information, but they also follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act. For example, employers must obtain written permission from job candidates prior to conducting background checks, and employers must provide candidates with a report if anything problematic is discovered. A firm can assist you with all of these matters.
While background check firms cost more and take longer to get results, they save employers time and potential legal headaches. Given the hundreds of firms available, here are questions you should consider to find the right one for you:
-Does the firm adhere to the Fair Credit Reporting Act?
-Can the firm provide all of the information you need to make hiring decisions?
-Does the firm give you the required authorization forms for job candidates to complete?
-Does the firm offer written reports?
-How quickly does the firm provide results?
The cost of investing in a background check firm is minuscule compared to the cost of defending against lawsuits and government inquiries. Likewise, you cannot risk letting just anyone into your business. Play it safe by making sure you hire trustworthy individuals while complying with all hiring laws.