The hiring process is challenging for many reasons, especially when trying to find the right candidate to fill a specific role. Many people lie on resumes and even provide fake references just to get a job. When it comes to your business, you want to make sure that you don’t waste valuable time, money, and resources on picking the wrong hire. It’s why you should (if you haven’t already) consider hiring a private investigator to run background checks on potential hires.
Working with a private investigator for your background check needs will only help you to avoid short-term headaches and improve the hiring process for long-term gains. Today, let’s explore the essentials of this process, including how to prepare for a background check as an employer to ensure a private investigator has all the details they need.
What Is A Background Check For Employment Purposes?
A background check is something an employer can request when hiring employees to fill a particular position. They are especially important when it comes to the following fundamental aspects of your operations, which may or may not be addressed depending on the type of check you have done:
- Security and employee/guest safety
- Operational efficiency and employee competency (in other words, ensuring you hire the right people for jobs with dangerous elements, such as a forklift operator role)
- Data privacy and minimizing the risk of internal fraud
- Employee personality/work ethic/character
- Regulatory compliance and certification
- Criminal background and other potential violations like bad driving
- Employee experience (previous employers)
Why Background Checks For Employees Matter
Getting a background check done, especially one that goes beyond the surface-level basics of an employee’s history, is a smart precaution to take. Giving a candidate the benefit of the doubt or not digging deep enough runs the risk of having trouble with them later on, especially if they’re good at lying about certain details or covering their trails.
It’s important to consider that it’s harder for folks to find work than ever, and even if they’re experienced, dozens of others may be vying for the same position. Therefore, some applicants (though certainly not all) may be either coloring the truth or hiding aspects of their background that lower their chances of getting the job. This can also include lying about having certain certifications required for specialized work, which could then result in your company being punished both legally and financially if you hire them.
What Does an Employment Background Check Include?
Depending on what is being checked, there may be different processes involved in completing a specific background check. For instance, some are straightforward as a simple record check, such as verifying your SIN number. Other times, more thorough digging is required, possibly necessary when an applicant is hiding a dark chapter of their past that they don’t want their next employer to know about.
As an employer, you deserve to have absolute peace of mind, and every employer-employee relationship should be built on some semblance of trust. Therefore, it’s best to get an employment background check done by an experienced private investigator who is certified to do so, as they’ll know what to inspect based on the position and operations in question.
Perhaps you’re wondering, “So what does a standard background check include, anyway?” It’s perfectly understandable if you’re unsure of the specifics, especially if you’ve never done this before. A private investigator can examine an employee’s past history for information including the following:
Many positions require specific credentials, degrees, and accreditations. When hiring, an employer will want to confirm that the potential candidate has the right skills to get the job done. Otherwise, they risk the employee endangering themselves or others in certain applications. Not only that, but any governing bodies under which you need to maintain compliance may punish your company for violating certain terms. Compliance violations should be avoided at all costs as they hurt your brand image, jeopardize funding and approval to carry out certain processes within your operations that require certification, and more.
A criminal record can prevent people from getting particular jobs. For example, let’s say that a local high school is looking to hire a teacher who is new to the area. Running a thorough background check on this teacher reveals that they were fired from their previous job because of an inappropriate relationship with a student. This is a situation where a criminal record would definitely impact the hiring of this teacher.
Many people like to embellish their past employment. While a little white lie doesn’t hurt, when an employer is looking to hire someone with specific experience, it’s important that the candidate can actually deliver. Employers don’t want to waste time second-guessing whether or not that ten-year appointment working at a specific forensics lab is real or fake. Therefore, running a background check to confirm previous employment will prove that the candidate is honest and that they are capable of completing assigned tasks.
Vehicle & License History
Some jobs require an employee to drive a vehicle. An employer should not hire an individual to drive a vehicle if they do not actually have the right license. In some situations, a potential hire might even have had their license revoked. A background check will confirm the validity and status of an individual’s license. In some cases, a hire will need to have this information checked on a regular basis.
Other information that an employer might request in a background check includes,
- Medical Records (although some information must remain confidential)
- Social Media Accounts
- Credit History
- Work Authorization
Why Run Background Checks On Potential Employees?
Most people don’t lie about their experience or work history. However, some people don’t have a problem adding previous work experience at companies where they never actually worked. In other cases, some individuals like to make it appear as though they delivered on impossible promises. While it’s often easy to tell whether someone is lying in a job interview, sometimes it’s not. Therefore, employers should run background checks on potential employees. After all, the hiring process is difficult. A lot of time, training, and money goes into bringing in a new employee. Running a background check to make sure that the right candidate is hired for the job is often just common sense.
If you start to make background checks a part of your hiring process, you will immediately see the benefits. A good check will weed out the candidates you don’t want. These should put your mind at ease because you will know with more certainty that the person you hire will do a good job. At the end of the day, the value of peace of mind is worth its weight in gold.
How Long Does a Background Check Take?
This really depends on how much grunt work is needed on behalf of the private investigator. If there’s ample detail to consult from the get-go and not much left open to guesswork, the process can take as little as two to three business days. However, for more thorough checks that cover a lot of ground and/or if we find discrepancies that mean more digging is required to get to the bottom of things, it may take upwards of several days longer.
Background Checks & Private Investigators
When it comes to background checks, employers should turn to private investigators for help. The reason for this is because a private investigator is trained in background check work. Compared to most people, a private investigator knows where to look and how to search for information that impacts a hiring decision.
A private investigator also knows how to obtain this information legally.
How to Prepare for a Background Check as an Employer
Something we don’t see discussed often is precisely how to prepare for a background check as an employer. After all, what is the private investigator going to need from you in order to start searching? Above all else, we’ll need the applicant’s written consent for a background check. Other details that help include a copy of their resume and cover letter (for reference purposes only), which should include their name and details regarding their background to help get started. In addition, should they have provided information in an online application portal, this would be handy as well. A good private investigator will consult with the employer client to verify that they have all the details needed to run a thorough, legally compliant check that leaves nothing to chance.
Hire the Right Candidate and Improve Your Hiring Process
If you are an employer looking to make some hiring decisions, why not ask a private investigator for help? Background checks for employees make hiring a breeze because it gives you the information you need to trust the person you’re hiring. As a result, background checks significantly improve the hiring process, giving you back the time and energy you need to run your company with greater efficiency.
Do you need help with your hiring process? Curious to know more about our background check services? Don’t delay! Contact O’Brien & Associates today to speak with one of our professional private investigators.