5 Things to Know about Background Checks

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According to HireRight, as much as a third of job applications and resumes contain false information. Performing background checks on potential employees is an effective and crucial way to learn more about the individual and uncover potential issues that could be damaging to your organization.

Utilizing a background check service can also ensure that the organization is selecting employees with the right assets and making the best possible hiring decisions.


1. Background Checks are a Giant Industry
The industry is booming thanks to the improving labor market, with approximately $2 billion earned annually and expected continued growth. Many companies, such as Uber and The Transportation Security Administration, are tightening their employee background check efforts this year in order to avoid lawsuits and litigation issues that can result from negligent hiring practices.

2. Background Checks Go Beyond the Resume
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a third of the U.S. population is in the FBI's criminal master file, with about 10,000 names being added per day. When an employer runs a background check, they aren't just checking for resume accuracy. They could be looking for items such as:

  • Criminal Record
  • Credit Check
  • Education, Certification, Licenses
  • References
  • Military Records
  • Bankruptcy
  • Driving Records
  • Drug Use
  • Misdemeanor and Felony Convictions
  • Sex Offenses
  • Details on Arrests and Plea Deals
  • Civil Legal Judgements
  • Address History
  • Marriage Records
  • Social Security Number Verification
  • Social Network Profiles

3. Background Checks have Logical Limits
Background Checks must fall under the rules of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The Federal Trade Commission's Division of Privacy and Identify Protection enforces the Fair Trade Reporting Act in order to require background check companies to "follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy" in the information they collect on individuals.

Similarly, the employer must comply with federal laws that protect applicants and employees from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, or religion; disability; genetic information (including family medical history); and age (40 or older). These laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Background Check companies also have their own set of rules and policies that must be followed in order to keep the search within legal boundaries.

4. Background Checks Can Save Money
According to the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, the most common reason organizations opt out of background checks is cost. However, the cost of background checks can be a fraction of what it would cost to replace a terminated employee, which is, on average, up to a third of their salary.

5. Background Checks must be Quality
Just as the process itself is vital to fully understanding a candidate's profile, choosing a background check service that does a thorough job is just as crucial. Ensure that the firm complies with the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act at all times, as well as provides you with a comprehensive report of their findings and not just instant results.

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