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Should Your Company Use Background Check Investigations?

Should Your Company Use Background Check Investigations?

You started your dream company and it’s growing in leaps and bounds. Now you’re faced with the delightful task of adding additional staff to help handle all those sales jobs and other work that needs to be accomplished. However, you just don’t want to bring any old “Joe Blow” into your company – you’d like a trustworthy employee who will work honestly for the firm and be a safe person to have around.

You’ve decided to use background checks in order to ensure you’re bringing the right person on staff. You’re not alone, because statistics claim that approximately 85% of businesses perform some type of background check on their potential employees before hiring them.  But, due diligence experts and investigators say that ‘background check’ can mean many different things, and it’s important to understand your risk, and the need for an actual investigation by a reputable investigator.  Searching criminal records alone is not enough, and is not a proper method of reducing your risk.  Especially when hiring internationally!

To that end, there are few basic tips you can follow to verify your new employees:

Tip #1: Hire a professional to do the investigating

You might be great at researching – a person who’s excellent at using search engines to find out as much as they can about an individual – but don’t assume that just because you’ve scanned the bulk of a person’s Facebook and uncovered their blog that you know everything there is to know about a person.

Professional agencies that perform background check investigations and due diligence for a living have access to tools that you do not know about, and training and experience that your company can benefit from.  They can turn up pertinent information that can help you make an informed decision about your hiring choices.  They can also prevent from you from making a horrible hiring decision.

If you’re hiring internationally, an international private investigator serves as your expert on the ground in the local area.  He speaks the language and has access to local records, can verify and obtain independent references, and properly minimize your risk.  If you’re a hiring manager, CEO or human resource professional, stick to what you know, and don’t assume you can verify someone in Russia or Japan!

Tip #2: Keep it fair and square

Make sure that everyone applying for the same role gets the same level of background checks in order to stay on the correct side of employment laws. For example, if several people are all applying for the role of an administrative assistant, they should all undergo the same checks into their histories.

Don’t eschew and forgo the background checks for one of the candidates because you favor them or they are related to you and you know that the investigation would turn up unfavorable information. This is illegal.

For higher level positions such as management and executive roles, consider a more comprehensive background check and due diligence by a professional investigation company.

Tip #3: Get proper permissions

Don’t assume you can run background checks willy-nilly whenever you feel like it against a person just because you’re curious and want to snoop into their life. Obtain the proper go ahead from job seekers by getting their permission to conduct the check if needed in your state or jurisdiction.  Each state and country is different, so be sure to follow the rules where your company is based and where you operate.

Remember that these services, when done properly, should be discreet and confidential.

Tip #4: Know the worst that can happen

In short, bankruptcy or even jail time.  Okay, so that is the extreme, but make no mistake, bringing a criminal into your organization can lead to negative publicity and serious financial losses.  On the lighter side, bringing a fraud or unethical person into your company can lead to a wide range of other problems.

Investigators advise caution and say it’s best to consider a proper background check investigation as a form of insurance.  And with the rising cases of fraud and scams, it’s wise to be insured!

Tip #5: Know what you should verify

A proper background check investigation is precisely that, an investigation.  Searching criminal records alone is in no way an investigation, and is only a small part of a proper verification process.  Experienced private investigators will verify a resume or CV, employment and education history, ID or passport, check criminal and court records, verify address, obtain and verify references, screen for fraud, and more.

C. Wright
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