Forbes Gives Background Check Advice. Is It Any Good?

When it comes to Forbes, there are times the career advice is extremely on point, veering away from the typical revise-resume-build-a-network tripe. Other times, dated tips resurface, essentially misleading job seekers with suggestions that make human resources representatives’ eyes roll. But, recently, Forbes published a piece about employers conducting background checks, and the list, for the most part, must serve as a concise rule book for all employers. What do they suggest?

Be Broad. In a broad sense, to excuse the pun, employers need to look at the big picture of each candidate – not single instances or one big of information. This not only ensures each candidate gets a fair chance but avoids potential EEOC investigations and lawsuits.

Don’t Use the “Box.”. This ties into the first point, that the criminal convictions box often leads to unnecessary discrimination.

Contact the Applicant and Look for Patterns. If any red flags appear, contact the applicant about an explanation or to point out the issue. As we have discussed, but Forbes didn’t emphasize, background checks come back with errors, and within this, identity theft has turned into a harmful, proliferating issue – one the applicant might not even be aware of. Similarly, don’t look at a single incident as the determining factor of character. Patterns are often a greater indicator.

Go With an Agency Instead of Doing It Yourself. DataCheck, Inc. and similar background check companies often have greater access to databases and files a business, like yours, cannot easily get a hold of. Companies looking to take a cheaper route have a tendency to just do an internet search – specifically, social media and Google. Not only is this practice questionable, it can produce inaccurate results – one that could exclude a perfectly qualified applicant from obtaining gainful employment. However, as Forbes did not mention, not all background check companies are equal, and some, such as HireRight Solutions, have made the news regarding significant, if not career-damaging, errors.

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