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Background Checks for Businesses?

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

March 14 2017

When beginning the hiring process, businesses are often told that they should perform background checks on potential employees before hiring them. However beneficial these screenings might be, many companies opt not to. It could be due to budgetary or resources restrictions or that a department has such confidence in a potential employee that the HR department decides the candidate does not need to be vetted.

Even if your company feels a background check is unnecessary, it is an option worth investigating. A Background Check for Businesses can confirm the positive impression that you gathered during the interview process, uncover possible issues that you might not have discovered or prevent potential problems that could arise in the future.

 

Benefits to Businesses

A great example of the latter is verifying that your applicant can legally work in this country or field. A Social Security check can validate that a candidate’s Social Security was issued to him or her, giving confidence that the individual can lawfully work in the United States. Also, in the post-hire stage, you can require a candidate to fill out an I-9 form, which requires photo identification to prove a person’s citizenship or ability to work in this country. Many employers are required, and all are well-advised, to confirm data collected on the I-9 with an E-Verify search. E-Verify validates an employee’s work eligibility through the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

You can also verify that a candidate can legally work in your field by checking certain databases. Should you work in the healthcare industry, you should verify that your potential employee is not listed in the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) List of Excluded Individuals/Entities database, as he or she would be barred from working in any federally-funded healthcare program. Having this information on file can provide protection in the event of any future legal actions.

 

Finding Qualified Applicants

A background check can also ensure that any employees you hire are qualified for the position. With an estimated half of today’s applicants lying on resumes, it can be difficult to differentiate the truth from well-spun fiction. With a background screen, you can verify that a candidate’s employment history, professional licenses and education match what is on a resume. You can also interview personal and professional references and check social media to see if the persona the candidate has portrayed lines up with popular opinion.

A thorough screen can also help you reconstruct an applicant’s past, which can help prevent problems in the future. Running a background check on a candidate can provide you with any criminal history at a local, state and federal level over the past seven years as well as a credit check. Criminal records should always be used in accordance with state and federal regulations, including EEOC guidance, and can help predict a prospective employee’s behavior based on a historical pattern.

Pre-employment drug testing is another way to help predict possible future actions of your potential employee. As studies have found that employees who fail a drug test are more likely to have chronic tardiness or absenteeism as well as produce lower quantities of poor quality work, you can make a judgment call on whether or not a candidate is a good investment.

Though a background check might seem like a lot of work, it is a wise investment for your company in the long run. If your business does not have the time or manpower to dedicate to checking into your potential employees, you can hire a reputable background screening company to perform the checks on your behalf. A quality agency can not only ensure that you receive a comprehensive look at a candidate, but that the search is done quickly and legally.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart over 28 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit www.tammycohen.com.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for over 28 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, and they have achieved NAPBS accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 40 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit www.infomart-usa.com, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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