After more than 30 years in the reference checking and background screening business, I am still amazed at how many employers make job offers to candidates for employment before checking references or doing a thorough background check. What typically happens is the employer will make the job offer contingent upon the successful completion of a reference check or a background check.

What’s the problem with doing it that way? The team at Barada Associates answers if background checks before or after a job offer really make a difference. In this blog, we’ll discuss when the background screening process should begin before you hire someone you might regret. 

Variety of Background Checks Available

Job seekers may be willing to say anything to get a dream position. Sometimes their resume or what they say during the interview process is incredibly appealing. If you’re filling a particularly difficult job role and find a candidate with relevant experience, it’s always a good idea to have a background check done to see more than their employment history. 

Employers conduct background checks to make sure they’re making a job offer to an ideal candidate. Someone might look good from the other side of the desk in an hour-long interview, but once they’re in the office, you might find out they have undesirable qualities. 

In order to make informed hiring decisions, background checks are essential. Although someone might be a great accountant, a background check can expose their criminal records for you to see they’ve been caught embezzling in the past.  That’s not someone who would be a good fit for your company.

At Barada Associates, we provide a variety of background checks so you can learn more about your potential hire. We can check candidates for employment history, criminal history, credit history, academic verification, drug and alcohol testing, and software ability. 

Timing Of The Background Check and Why It Matters

At Barada Associates, we always recommend to run a background check on a potential hire before you extend them an offer. If you make a job offer and then run a background check only to find discrepancies and issues, then you’ll have to rescind the job offer. This will alert your candidate and they will want to know what changed. 

A savvy candidate will, as he or she has a right to do, demand to see whatever information was collected during the background check and challenge any of it he or she believes is false, in the hope that an error was made.

Without realizing it, the employer will also have opened themself to a possible civil suit based on wrongful denial of employment – if the information collected turns out to be false. The only thing the employer has going for them in a situation like that is the fact that the burden of proof is on the candidate to demonstrate that the information collected about them was false. Put another way, there is no burden on the employer to prove that the information is true.

But why go through all of that, not to mention the expense associated with being sued by the unsuccessful candidate? It makes far more sense to do the reference and background checking before a job offer is ever made. If no job offer is made, there’s nothing that has to be withdrawn.

How Job Seekers Can Protect Themselves

If you’ve started your job search but you have a very common name, you may find yourself having issues during the hiring process. Although candidates often include their social security numbers in applications, sometimes information can be missed and numbers can be typed in wrong, and a potential employer is looking at the background check for the wrong person. This may also happen if you’ve been a victim of identity fraud. Someone has ruined your credit or sullied your name because they stole your information. 

Any job seeker has the right under the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act to see any information that was collected about them and to dispute it if they believe it is false. The key, from the employer’s standpoint, however, is to make sure that the information collected is accurate. As a practical matter, most unsuccessful applicants normally will not demand to see a reference report or background check the employer collected. But, if they do, it’s far better for the employer to be in the position of not having offered the candidate a job based on the condition of a satisfactory reference and/or background check.

The employer is always on solid ground if any information collected about the candidate is true; but, by doing the reference checks and background checks prior to making a job offer, the employer is further protecting themself from incurring the costs of defending the decision not to hire the candidate, rather than defending a decision to terminate that candidate based on information that could have been available prior to making that fateful job offer.

If you have been mistaken for someone else before, or have been a victim of identity theft, it’s never a bad idea to be upfront about your situation to your prospective employer before they conduct a background check. The employers might be more open to discussing with you what they find on a background check or may conduct another background check to make sure it matches your employment history better. 

Talk to Barada Associates for Background Screening Services 

Barada Associates is proud to offer reliable and high-quality background checks that contain all of the information that you need in order to make the best hiring decision for your company. Avoid making a bad hire, as well as the costs associated with doing so, by contacting Barada Associates for pre-employment background checks.