Background Checks


 Making sure your company hires the right person has become something like putting a jigsaw puzzle together.  With all the tools currently available in the marketplace, is there help defining what “best practices” are for your organization?  The answer, it seems to me, is “Yes, but it depends.”  What does establishing “best practices” for your company mean?
 The first step is to develop an understanding of your own corporate culture.  What sorts of people seem to fit best?  For instance, do you have a culture that is more informal and laid-back, or do you have a more formal, buttoned-down culture?  Do employees constantly interact, or are functions more compartmentalized?  Once you’ve done an analysis, you’ll have one piece of the puzzle in place.
 Next, what are the skill-sets required to do the job?  For example, how much experience is required, or do you primarily hire only at the entry-level and let each new class sort itself out to help you decide who moves up and who moves on?  Do you hire for only salaried positions or just hourly positions, or perhaps both?

 Defining culture and determining job requirements are essential steps in tailoring the pre-employment screening package that will enable you to put together all the pieces of the hiring puzzle when hiring decisions need to be made.  And, frankly, you may end up with more than one screening package based on different job requirements, experience levels needed, and where the job fits within the organization.  For instance, if you do the hiring for a trucking company, you may not care how well a candidate for a driver’s position interacts with coworkers on a daily basis, but you probably will care a great deal about a complete driving record check!  On the other hand, how well a candidate works with others may be critical for a supervisor’s position, but a driving record check may not matter at all.  So, as more pieces of the hiring puzzle fall into place, the clearer the package of pre-employment screening services considered necessary will be.

 Ultimately, however, what every employer needs is a completed hiring puzzle before making a hiring decision.  Despite tailoring the pre-employment screening package, there are several essentials that normally should be in every one – keeping in mind that more information is always better than less.  Stated in the most straightforward way possible, it’s essential to know not only if every serious candidate for employment is who he or she claims to be, but also if those candidates have the proven ability to do what the job requires. 

 Lately, there has been a small explosion of ads in nearly every media suggesting that seeing only part of the puzzle is enough to make a hiring decision.  Well, it’s not.  To reduce hiring costs and the costs associated with making the wrong hiring decision, the puzzle needs to be complete.  Doing nothing more than a credit check, for example, will never provide enough information to make a good hiring decision.  Verifying all the information contained on the job application or resume that’s relevant to the position is necessary; and, in nearly every case, also doing a thorough criminal background search is essential. It’s also essential to retain the services of a professional to talk with appropriate business references to determine objectively if the candidate who looks so good on paper, or interviews extremely well, can really do the job.

 In conclusion, it’s more important than ever for employers to have all the puzzle pieces in place to help insure the best hiring decision is made – the first time!  All the tools are available to help the employer see the “whole person.”