Background checks for employment are an essential part of the hiring process. A pre-employment check verifies a candidate’s education, work experience and any potential criminal history. Unfortunately, not all candidates are truthful about their background so a thorough screening process will ensure you make the right employment decisions. In this article, we discuss how to conduct a background check, including the documentation required during pre-employment screening.
Conducting Employee Background Checks
An honest and trustworthy team of employees is fundamental for business success. Establishing an exceptional team is not an easy feat. However, with the right screening processes, you’ll be able to hire the best candidates to boost your company’s reputation.
1. Your Background Check Needs to Be Fair and Consistent
Your background check process needs to be conducted professionally, ensuring fairness and transparency. It also needs to meet legal requirements so ensure you confirm your process with your lawyer.
2. Establish A Workplace Policy for Checking Backgrounds
Creating a workplace policy for checking the background of candidates ensures it remains consistent. What should your policy state?
- The type of pre-employment checks you’re going to make. For example, you may wish to conduct a driving check if an employee is going to be driving in their job
- What results will affect an offer of employment
- When background checks will occur
3. Choose A Reliable Background Check Service
The best background screening services for your company will depend on the nature of your business, how many roles you’re recruiting for, as well as your budget. A good background check company will know the legal requirements and be able to perform a check quickly and efficiently. Ensure you research the service beforehand, determining what online reviews are stating.
4. Understand The Different Background Checks Available
Knowing the background checks available will ensure you use the right ones during your recruitment process. Here are some different types of background checks you can do:
- Drug testing to confirm no use of illegal drugs
- Driver record checks to ensure the legal use of a driving licence
- Employment history or reference checks to determine the validity of work experience
- Criminal record check to ensure the candidate’s criminal record
- Credit checks to confirm if the candidate has a good credit record
- Educational background check to confirm school, college or university
- International background check if the candidate has resided or worked in a different country
- Healthcare sanction check if the candidate is being employed within a medical setting
5. Notify A Candidate of Potential Background Checks
You should communicate your intent to perform background checks with your candidates. Being open about your background check policy encourages potential employees to be honest about their history. You should let candidates know that they’re allowed to view the results and can dispute any findings.
6. Verify The Identity of Remote Employees
As more companies hire remote and hybrid workers, it’s important that you still carry out checks on these candidates. If an employee is going to be working remotely or freelance capacity, conduct an identity check to enhance security. You can do this by viewing their birth certificate, driving licence and passport.
7. Reference Checks Provide An Extra Layer of Protection
While background checks can supply some information on the history of a candidate, it’s always a good idea to take up references from previous employers. If the candidate has no employment history, then ask for character references from people in a position of authority, such as a teacher. Work and character references can help to determine whether the candidate will be a good fit for your company. However, you may still want to consider offering a trial period of employment beforehand.
8. Give Candidates The Opportunity to Clear Up Any Mistakes
Mistakes happen so provide candidates with the opportunity for clarity. Information isn’t always 100% accurate and you don’t want to let a great candidate slip through your fingers. Instead, present your findings and give them the chance to explain.
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