Background screening is an integral component of any company’s hiring process, and an overwhelming majority of businesses rely on them as part of their hiring decisions. Background screenings can impact businesses in many ways. For one, they influence the team when deciding which candidate to hire. But beyond who a background check leads hiring managers to pick, background screening can also impact the business itself — especially when done wrong. The methodology of background checks affects how companies function, and any mistakes made can negatively affect the business. See how legal issues with your background check policy might impact your company and why going with professional background check services is always the right choice.
Common Mistakes in Background Screening (And Their Consequences)
In our 20 years of experience at DataCheck, we’ve seen screening mistakes of every variety. The implications of screening mistakes are numerous, but slip-ups in screening can ultimately be summed up in one most considerable consequence; common errors in background screening open companies up to discrimination cases. Here are the most common mistakes when conducting pre-employment background checks.
You Have an Inconsistent Screening Policy
Companies evolve, and with them, so should their screening policies. A hiring process that relies on an inconsistent approach might be mistaken as discrimination, and no amount of emotional reasoning can apply here. Employers may want to run additional background checks on one particular candidate, but it is unfair when their competing applicants don’t receive additional screening. You always need to hold applicants to the same standards, and therefore the same background screenings.
Determine as a business what information is necessary — which may vary by position or title — and always acquire solely that information from each candidate. Hiring managers should be evaluating applicants on identical criteria every time.
The Applicant Didn’t Grant Permission
It’s a common mistake and a detrimental one; companies often forget to get permission to run a background screening. As per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), every applicant’s written consent is needed to run a background check. Compliance paperwork ensures that you have the legal right to be accessing the information you’re attempting to.
Luckily, digital written permission is also allowed, so you don’t need to delay your hiring process too much because of hand-written paperwork.
Your Process Is Non-Digital
As noted above, employers can digitally deliver background check policy paperwork and background screening. Doing everything on paper is a screening mistake and makes the process too tedious. Printing out forms, signing them, and scanning them back is a huge hassle for potential employees — especially right now, during work from home. Many people don’t even own printers, and asking them to find the means to one is near impossible.
If capable, do everything digitally. It keeps processes streamlined, organized, and convenient. You certainly don’t want a hiring process lag to result in your ideal candidate choosing another position. Plus, using technology reassures applicants that your company is keeping up with technological advancements and optimizing workflow.
You’re Examining the Wrong Data
Background checks can cover a lot of information — but is all of it necessary for your hiring decision? Looking at the wrong data can be deleterious in a few ways. For one, it lengthens your hiring process. Hiring a new employee is already a costly procedure, and reading through extraneous information on every applicant only takes up more work hours and, therefore, money. Moreover, you may not base your decision on specific data. The 7-year lookback rule in employment background checks is one example.
Additionally, examining more information than necessary can encourage applicants to turn down the job. Applicants may view it as an invasion of privacy. Candidates may feel defensive or get scared off from accepting an offer. There’s no need to run every single check if a job position doesn’t call for it, and it’s recommended to screen only for relevant info. Think objectively about what data you need, and solely scan for that!
You Give No Chance to Explain
Sometimes, background screenings come back with what can be seen as negative information. It may be a bad credit score, a poor recommendation from a past employer, or a criminal charge. No matter what it may be, you should reconnect with the applicant in question and give them a chance to explain their negative mark. Background check results are not always black and white.
A pre-employment background check does not tell a person’s entire story, and you don’t want to miss out on fantastic applicants because of something that may need a little backstory. Keep in mind that as per the FCRA, you have to notify applicants about their background check results regardless. You might as well have a conversation about aspects of your background check policy that may influence your decision.
You Do Social Media Checking
A relatively new aspect of background check policies is social media analysis. Social media background checking helps employers ensure a cultural fit and check that an applicant isn’t hateful online. Were you thinking of scrolling through an applicant’s social media yourself? You may want to rethink that. Social media is revealing. You can learn a lot about applicants, including all of the information you cannot legally inquire about. Reminder, it’s illegal to ask about age, religion, sexual orientation, political leanings, child(ren) status, and health issues.
By using social media to screen an applicant, you may end up discovering the wrong information as well. Whether consciously or subconsciously, hiring managers can make discriminatory choices based on personal information about a candidate. Social media screenings by background screening companies like DataCheck allow for cultural fit analysis while leaving out irrelevant information and avoiding personalized posts. Therefore, professionals are the best people to handle a social media check.
Avoid Legal Issues With Background Checks; Use Data Check
With so many reporting and hiring laws, it can be tough to abide by every rule if you’re handling your hiring process’ background checks alone. Leave the legalities to the professionals by using DataCheck’s comprehensive background screening services! Through DataCheck, our experienced team can customize background checks to your company’s needs and background check policy, getting you only the information you need. All of our results are always confidential, exceptionally priced, and delivered in an amazingly-fast time frame. Get in touch to see how we can help your business gather everything from social media background checks to current employees’ drug screening!