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Seven Misconceptions About Employee Background Checks Everyone Needs to Clear


Background checks are essential as they let a recruiter avoid bad-hire. However, not every organization considers it necessary, and not every employee takes it seriously. In the employment industry, some misconceptions about employee background checks are circulating. It's time to know the truth about some myths related to this activity.

Misconception #1 Background Checks are Only for Big companies

Everyone thinks that an employee's background check is a vital thing for every big organization. They have a big brand to protect, so if they don't perform a background check, they have more to lose.

What's reality?

Every organization, big or small, has an image to maintain. A bad hire leaves an adverse impact on every company, regardless of its size and scale. When you have sensitive information in your company or a vulnerable population, performing a background check is the need of the hour.

A hospital has a vulnerable population consisting of kids, disabled people, and older people. Therefore, its admin needs to perform a background check on every employee to protect its people.

Misconception No #2 Background Checks are Expensive

Many employers give up on the idea of background checks because they think it is expensive to run a check.

What's reality?

On average, the range of every cost price is between $10-50, depending on the company's report type and size. Many background checks companies make a deal to do multiple checks at an affordable price.

Avoiding this expense is an irrational decision. Compare it with the average cost of hiring that is $15000, and you realize that $50 is nothing.

Misconception No #3 Employer doesn't perform a background check

Many employees believe that an employer won't perform a background check, so he doesn't mind adding untrue information.

What's reality?

Three out of ten employers perform a background check; this three-fourth ratio is good enough to change your mind. It's time to think that the employer will perform a background check. Add only accurate information.

Misconception No #4 Employer won't Call my references

A candidate adds references and doesn't think of informing them that they are being added to his resume.

What's Reality?

Your employer will make a call to your references and ask about you. It's an easy way to know more about you. Why would they don't opt for it?

As soon as you add a reference, ensure that you inform your reference -so he is ready to take your side. Past employers and other people get annoyed when they are caught off-guard by employers. Please inform your reference on time once you apply.

Misconception No #5 Background Checks Take Too Much Time

Many employers think that they need to wait for weeks to get reports from background checking companies. As they want to replace candidates quickly, so they don't want to waste their time in the background checking procedure, and thereby, they skip this essential part of the pre-employment screening process.

What's Reality?

If you hire an expert, you can expect a report within three business days. Don't skip this step. You might save your time now, but later, when a criminal record or some other problem pops up, your company will be the one facing lawsuits.

Besides, the employee turnover rate will increase. One bad-hire means going through the recruitment process all over again. Waste of time and money, indeed.

Misconception #6 Employer needs to disqualify an employee with Criminal record immediately

If an employer goes with a background check on a candidate and finds out his criminal record, the recruiter disqualifies an application. Not every criminal record makes a job seeker disqualified for a job. Employers need to learn about the right approach.

What's reality?

Once an employer finds details of a criminal record, he must allow the candidate to dispute the claim. He can take adverse action when this criminal record is relevant for a given job position. A job seeker can get help from background check companies and perform a self-check to publicly find out what kind of information is available about him. You need to understand how employees will look into your profile and what information would make you disqualified for a specific job.

A criminal record is a red flag, but not always. Discrepancies and derogatory marks on resumes are other red flags. Almost 13 percent of candidates approximate their employment date history. Simultaneously, accuracy is the key to success in the employment industry—a little discrepancy results in significant problems - aka losing a job opportunity.

Here are some typical Background check red flags

  • An employee has a degree about which employer can't get any confirmation from the education institute.
  • Upon running a background check on the professional license, the employer finds out some disciplinary actions, disbarment, and sanctions.
  • Information from the official source doesn't match with those mentioned on candidate's cover letter and resume.
  • The employee's involvement in reportable criminal convictions. Although a criminal conviction is a good reason to disqualify a candidate, yet an employer shouldn't quickly dismiss him without further investigation.

Misconception No #7 Employer is only interested in Reference Check

Almost 46 percent of employees have little or no idea about what kind of information an employer would be interested in during background checks.

What's Reality?

Most people believe that a recruiter will be interested in reference, while tons of other things are included in an employee's background check.

Primary check: A recruiter will run a criminal check on a candidate to find you about his/her sex offenses, civil or criminal records. Besides, he will do employment and education verification.

Secondary Check: An employer will also run some background checks on your credit reports, motor vehicle records, healthcare sanctions, professional license, worker's compensation history, military records, and references.

Essential Check: You should know that many employers would also be interested in drug screening.