Hiring new employees is an essential part of operating, and growing, a successful business. It also presents an inherent risk to any organisation. So we listed the top 10 things every organisation should know about background screening.
According to popular employment site CareerBuilder.com, “Fifty-eight percent of hiring managers said they’ve caught a lie on a resume; one-third (33 percent) of these employers have seen an increase in resume embellishments post-recession.”
Here’s another statistic: According to a survey conducted by CRI Group, more than 75 percent of organisations conduct some sort of background checks. That’s good news. But it also means that nearly a quarter of companies don’t do any pre-employment screening, which is concerning. Screening employees means having a safer, more secure work environment.
Here are 10 important things every organisation should know about the hiring process, and the need to conduct thorough pre-employment background screening.
1. Some job candidates will actually fabricate a new identity
This is especially true if they have something to hide, such as a criminal background. Proper screening can verify names, addresses, phone numbers, national ID numbers and other identifying information to confirm that they are who they claim to be.
2. Credit and financial history should be reviewed
Fraud statistics have shown financial distress to be a key red flag for fraudulent behaviour. Has the candidate claimed bankruptcy? Have they dissolved prior companies or are they faced with debtor filings? An individual’s financial history should be checked to the degree that is permissible by local laws.
3. Previous employment needs to be confirmed
Background checks will verify past employers, locations of past employment, dates employed, salary levels, reasons for leaving, position titles, gaps in employment history and pertinent contact information.
4. Stretching employment dates is a major problem
Speaking of previous employment, CRI Group’s survey found that the top form of résumé fraud is stretching employment dates. This can cover gaps in employment, or make it seem they have more experience in certain positions than they actually do.
5. Some candidates present fake education credentials
Verification is needed to confirm school grades, degrees and professional qualifications. Claiming a degree that was never earned is one of the most common fabrications. Certifications, assessments, awards – all of these can be fabricated or fraudulently claimed by a candidate in an effort to make themselves look more qualified for a position than they actually are.
6. International criminal records searches are critically important
Criminal background checks should include any convictions for the applicant in the requested jurisdictions. Hiding a criminal background is one of the most serious omissions. Depending on their history, your business and employees could be at risk from a bad actor who intentionally hides their criminal past.
7. Checking (and verifying) references is part of background screening
A job seeker might provide an employment reference that gives a shining recommendation – but the contact turns out to be their close friend. This type of deception can hide the true nature and work record of the candidate.
8. Formalise your background screening policy
What is your company’s current, written policy for hiring new employees? How does it address background checks, due diligence, and other issues? Is the process followed in every case? Having the process detailed in writing will help make it a regular part of your business practice.
9. Make sure someone owns the background screening process
Ultimately, who has the responsibility of vetting new hires? Is it ownership? Human resources? Individual managers? It might be a collaborative process. All of those who are involved in hiring should also be involved in the implementation of a due diligence solution that includes background checks.
10. Don’t skip post-employment screening
Proper due diligence doesn’t just apply to prospective new hires. It should also be used to periodically evaluate your current workforce. Examine the various roles and personnel at your organisation, and consider a policy that addresses risk areas with background checks. For example, CRI Group’s survey found that nearly half of business leaders see financial services, investments and banking positions as “high risk.”
It’s important to have a formal, written policy for background screening. It’s also important to know that comprehensive background checks are best performed by industry experts who understand where to find and confirm employee information. This ranges from criminal, education and employment history records checks to verification of credentials, training and certifications. CRI Group’s professional background screening services engage international resources in geographic regions not serviced or accessible by typical “out-of-the-box” screening services. Learn more today at CRIGroup.com.