6 Background Screening Options That You Should Use for Your Next Hire

Background screening is a step in the employment process that involves analyzing past and present details about a prospective employee before hiring. In the past, a background check was not necessary for the hiring process as companies were more concerned about the skills and qualifications of a potential employee. However, due to the drastic changes in hiring policies, including work safety, drugs and alcohol consumption, and government regulations, a background check is an important process.


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Conducting background screening is a comprehensive multiagency undertaking that involves getting comprehensive reports. Moreover, it is a legal process, which protects a person from the intrusion of personal privacy without his or her consent. This explains why many companies find it challenging to conduct background checks. If your company does not have a clue of how to go about this process, here are some potential areas that you should consider to determine the suitability of a job candidate.

1. Social Security Validation

Social security validation is a vital background check that involves determining whether a social security number is legitimate. It is common knowledge that the social security number contains important personal details such as the aliases, the actual names, address history, and dates of birth. If such a number cannot be authenticated, other details could also  not be validated. People carrying a fake social security number could be hiding sensitive details that could be important when deciding whether to hire or not.

2. Sex Offender Registry Check

Sex offender registry can easily be used to determine the overall sex offenses of a particular person. Your company is not interested in employing people who have previously been convicted or accused of rape and sexual harassment among other sex-related offenses. The sex offender registry is under the custody of local authority, and any employer has the right to access its details without restrictions. It is useful to check the sexual offender registry, especially when you are hiring for a position that involves taking care of vulnerable people in the community.

3. Criminal Records Check

The government has critical criminal records about any other person in the country. In fact, both the federal and county government possess important criminal records. You should consult local authorities to get criminal history for the applicant. Criminal history is essential in the hiring process because companies don’t want to hire individuals who would later turn out to be criminals, which could destroy the reputation of the company. If you aren’t part of a large corporation, these resources can be difficult to find. However, there are various small business tools you can use to help solve this issue.

4. Terror Watch List

Various options can be used in checking and analyzing the criminal details of a prospective employee, but the United States terror watch list is a substantial list that your company should consider. With the increasing number of homegrown terrorists, it is essential to check whether an individual has any history connecting him or her to terrorist activities. An individual might not be an active terrorist but appearing on the terror watch list is a warning that the person under consideration could be dangerous to the company and its employees.

5. Professional License Records

If you are hiring for a job that requires technical training and professional skills, it is crucial to consider checking licensing and certification records. These records highlight whether an individual has attained degrees and other certification as he or she has indicated on the résumé. There is an increasing number of individuals presenting false information about their qualifications. Conducting background screening prevents a situation where a company hires individuals who do not have the necessary skills.

6. Credit Records

Credit records are essential business tools that can be used in conducting background checks about potential workers. Specifically, credit records present important and reliable details about an individual’s financial history. Some important details that you should be checking include tax evasion, pending mortgage loans, and other pending credit issues from different financial institutions around the country.
Moreover, hiring individuals with fiscal discipline and responsibility prevents theft and pilferage among the members of the staff. Companies working with sensitive private information should pay enormous attention to credit records while hiring.

Craig Middleton graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and has worked in healthcare and HR businesses for most of his professional career as an HR specialist. In his free time, he likes to write about topics that interest him, watch baseball, and try new restaurants. You can connect with Middleton on LinkedIn.

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