Background Check Trends And Evolution Of The Process

The practice of continuous background screening is also gaining momentum over the past years as an increasing number of employers are starting to weigh the advantages of conducting post-hire screenings on their workforce


The humble background check is one of the most dynamic and effective tool in the hands of recruiters. A professional background check not only helps in hiring the best candidate, but it also helps in eliminating the risk of white-collar crimes, frauds committed by employees in the workplace. Sidestepping this crucial process is just not an option for organisations today as 53 percent of all job applications are said to contain factually inaccurate information and 30 percent of business fails can be attributed to malpractice committed by employees.

A basic background check helps employers verify a candidate’s claim on employment history, address verification, education check, criminal record, gap verification, and reference check. The corporate world had seen a few high profile exits in the past due to misrepresentation of facts. Such loss of reputation could have been avoided by simply following due diligence in background checks in the first place. This is a crucial step in the recruitment process, studies have shown that the bad hires can cost up to 5 times their annual salary and loss from resume fraud is estimated to cost employers about $600 billion annually. Loss caused by key staff such as managers and executive managers is four times higher than those caused by regular employees.

The practice of continuous background screening is also gaining momentum over the past years as an increasing number of employers are starting to weigh the advantages of conducting post-hire screenings on their workforce. The benefits for employers are clear: a continuous background screening program allows employers to make highly informed employment retention decisions. Periodic checks are already mandatory in most organisations for promoting employees or reassignments to roles with access to critical information or higher responsibilities. This form of advanced background verification is perfectly suitable for those with direct day to day interactions with customers.

Social media is like a double-edged sword for companies these days. While on the one hand, it enables companies to directly interact with their target audience and customers for a more personal relationship, social media can also be an unforgiving place when it comes to slip-ups or mistakes. It is practically impossible to control social media and the trajectory an interaction will take. Each employee is a brand ambassador on social media and a single post may be all it takes to make or break. It is therefore advisable for companies to make social media check a part of the pre-employment screening and follow it up with an active social media policy for its employees and also monitor social media either in-house or through third-party resources.

Each employee carries with them a certain level of risk. Despite all the vetting and interviewing, the threat remains of hiring an applicant who ends up underperforming, perpetuate scams or causes serious harm in terms of workplace violence, theft, or property damage. Psychometric screening as part of a background check can help organisations make better-informed decisions in selecting the best candidate based on their personality traits and aptitude. The test can be particularly helpful in recruitment situations where there are numerous candidates and when combined with other recruitment tools such as interviews help recruiters get a holistic view of the candidate’s skills, ability, and personality traits.

A background check is an important tool not only in the pre-recruitment stage, but it also plays an important role in talent management in any organisations. Many aspects of personal information are fluid and changes with every new life developments and incidents. It is important for recruiters and employers to keep themselves updated with the latest information so that they can make the best possible decision every time. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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