Employee background checks or verifications in 2020 are moving towards higher complexity and controversy, along with several ethical dilemmas. A solid background check is one of the greatest tools for a recruiter to have. But mandatory compliance with new digital and social media laws along with maintaining professional boundaries makes it a challenging task for recruiters today.
A background check helps to not only choose the right applicant for your company but also significantly reduces the risk of money-related crimes, fraud and any form of breach of contract. Nearly 53% of job applications today carry factually wrong information. At the same time, 30% of business losses due to negligence or operational failure can be credited to incompetent employees.
Background checks can authenticate education records and employment records, do reference checks, criminal background verification and the identity verification of the applicant. Misrepresentation is a major problem in the corporate world today, so background checks should not be overlooked no matter how genuine a candidate may appear.
As technology advances and consumer behaviours change, trends of personal and criminal background verification also evolve.
Screening Social Media
Social media is becoming an important factor for consideration in this new decade. Organisations check for any content posted by the employee that goes against the company’s core beliefs. More than 66% of employers in a CareerBuilder survey admitted to checking potential employees’ online presence. Recruiters overlook or pass on a candidate if they post about using drugs or alcohol. They also disqualify candidates who
- Post discriminatory or hateful comments
- Share wrong employment qualifications
- Abuse their previous employers or defame them
- Share confidential information online
Checks Won’t Stop After Hiring
Employers no longer perform background checks only before onboarding an employee. Background checks at regular intervals or employee milestones can significantly reduce your organisation’s liability. Industries like transportation and trucking perform regular health checks on their employees to ensure they are in peak condition. Other industries are starting to follow suit, with education and healthcare industries increasing their employee screenings to find problem areas and minimise risks.
Conducting background checks on existing employees reveals financial problems or risk areas where the employee might cause issues within the company. These background checks should comply with FCRA regulations and the employee must always consent to these background checks.
Gig Workers Will Also Be Screened
In 2018, a survey by Uber revealed more than 3000 cases of sexual assault, 58 car accident deaths and nine cases of murder. While organisations employing full-time employees are expected to perform detailed employment background checks, gig workers often escape under the radar. Gig workers include anyone who works on a per delivery or project basis with an organisation. Since they are not on the company’s payroll, the company doesn’t bother with detailed checks. But this puts customers’ lives at risk and ruins the organisation’s credibility and market reputation.
Criminal Records Are Controversial
The EEOC issued new guidelines in 2012 for the generation and checking of criminal history and records. When a recruiter is interviewing an applicant, having a conviction on their record might become a problem. Recruiters might become biased and their judgement could get clouded. This could cost the organisation a good employee.
However, insight into the criminal record of an employee is important nonetheless. Hence, there are more relevant questions that can be asked. Employers are allowed to ask about the time since the candidate was released, proof of their rehabilitation, and the relevance of their crime to their job role.
There are enough professionals out there who can positively impact your business. If you have an advanced personal and Employee Background Check system in place, you can easily find the best candidates for your business.