The Importance of Employment Background Checks

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It would be nice to conduct an interview, meet a potential employee face-to-face, and hire that candidate on the spot, wouldn’t it? Fifty years ago, that might have been the case. But the world has become a tricky place in modern times; a criminal background check has become not just a necessity, but an expected part of the employment process. That’s why there’s nothing more important than conducting an employment background check on potential new-hires for your business.

When it comes to background screening, you want to make sure you hire the best company you can. But how do you know you’re getting the best company money can buy?

Look at the cost: No employment background check should cost the same amount as 2 gallons of gas – period. A reputable background screening company will perform comprehensive searches, not simply scan a national criminal database. Meticulous research can be expensive, yes – but it’ll be complete, too.

Look at the time: A comprehensive criminal background check takes time. There’s no such thing as a database that contains ALL criminal records. Any employment background checking company that claims to be done instantly isn’t really doing their job. A high-quality company will search for information going back for years, and that type of dedication takes more than moments.

Ask about discretion: A professional employment background check involves a lot of “sensitive” information: Social Identification Numbers, credit scores, other names, motor vehicle records, etc. When hiring a background screening company, make sure that the company will guarantee the safety of the potential employee’s personal information. Does the company destroy its records when the search is over? If not, ho is that information processed? How is it kept safe? The last thing you want is a company that can’t – or won’t – protect innocent people from identity theft or fraud.

Develop a contact: The criminal background check is done…. Now what? A reputable company needs to be there to answer the questions you might have – and not just when the employment background check is over. Look to see if the company you’ve chosen has an automated service for quick questions, and a person you can contact directly for more “advanced” questions.

Where to Get a Background Check

Now that you know what goes into a criminal background check, it’s time to get serious about choosing a company that suits your needs. If you don’t know where to get a background check, try this first:

  • The Internet: The world is at your fingertips. Try searching for local background screening companies. If you find one that you like, dig in a little deeper with your research to see what other local employers are saying about it.
  • The Yellow Pages: Overwhelmed by results on a search engine? Try using the online phone directory through the Yellow Pages. It can help narrow the search, freeing you up to do some research of your own.
  • Private Investigators: Who’s better equipped to perform criminal background checks than the professionals who conduct such searches for their livelihoods? Today’s private investigators are not like the ones you seen in 1940s film noir: they’re discreet, dedicated professionals whose services often include employment background checks.

The most important part of background screening is recognizing that it has to be done. By hiring a professional service to conduct your employment background checks for you, you’re ultimately saving time and money. The upfront costs are nothing compared to costs of hiring a less-than-desirable employee.