If you are an employer looking to hire responsible and reliable new staff members, or a family in search of a trustworthy housekeeper of babysitter for hire, the following questions may have crossed your mind:
- Is this person who they say they are?
- Do they have a criminal record?
- Can this person be dangerous?
- Is this person a fraudster?
It is natural to have some doubts or to be mistrusting about the person you encounter in interviews and meetings. They may have the perfect resume but how can you tell if the presented information is accurate or true? Maybe you have already hired an individual but notice that certain things about them, their behavior and work ethics are suspicious and you need to be sure about your decision. This is when you should consider conducting a pre-employment background investigation.
What is a pre-employment background investigation?
A pre-employment background check is a background investigation that is specially customized to screen the credentials of a potential or existing employee. Some areas that an employer will want to look into are:
- Criminal background
- Confirmation of past or current employment
- Confirmation of identity
- Checks for illegal drug use
- Civil check
- Previous marriage
- Divorce check
- Verification of schooling
- Job license verification
It’s very easy to falsify the details on a resume and in an interview, due to incidents of fraud and trickery in the past, many employers today have taken the initiative to follow up on the information the individual submits. This cuts the risk factor of hiring someone who is not actually qualified for the position or who will not fit the image and values of the organization. Basing background checks on online information alone such as social media and google searches is not sufficient and can also be unreliable because these are also platforms where information can be falsely presented.
A firm like RCI International Process Service and Investigations is specialized in conducting in-depth and relevant background investigations to suit the criteria a company or employer might need to have checked out about an employee.
What can inspire the need for a background check?
There are certain behaviors or ‘red flags’ that might cause you to have suspicions about the person you hired and these include:
- Obscene or derogatory language
- Sexually explicit materials
- References to drug use
- References to alcohol use
- Seditious talk about politics, religion, and race
- Reproachful comments about their current job, coworkers, customers, etc.
Other concerning traits may be if the individual is caught in a lie or is dishonest about something, caught stealing or tampering with equipment or another person’s belongings. Anything odd or suspicious about the person can spark the need for a thorough background investigation and employers may not always be able to read these behaviors before it is too late. Running a background check on a person is preferably encouraged before the person is hired or signs work contracts or agreements.
How is a pre-employment background check carried out?
In order to initiate a background investigation, the employer must provide the details they want screened. They may submit the person’s resume or application which contains the basic information required such as name, address, contact, education and so forth. This can be sufficient to start searching the validity of the information. A firm will then take the information given and search a variety of databases such as Homeland Security, Social Security, County Records, Credit Bureaus and University or High School Records.
Delving deep in these searches can provide a wealth of knowledge about the person being screened such as if they were ever bankrupt, charged for criminal offences, if their Social Security number is valid and whether they actually attended and obtained certification from the schools they have declared attending on their applications.
These searches are not only done online, some require special access or authorization that the average person may not be eligible for. Employers may also need to apply for permission or special requests to access some of the data needed that may be time consuming to undergo on their own.
Why do you need to perform a pre-employment background check?
As mentioned before, when hiring someone you need to ensure that the information, they provide is verified to be true.
If you are hiring someone to work in your home as a housekeeper or nanny, you need to be extra cautious about who you let into your household where your most valuable possessions, children and loved ones reside. To ensure their safety, you need to hire someone who is trustworthy and capable of doing their job.
As a business owner, you need to protect your assets, your goods and the reputation of your business. You have to screen your employees to make sure they are honest, qualified and can work alongside the team or other staff members.
Verifying the credentials of prospective or existing employees is highly recommended because you do not want to encounter any complications that the individual in question may cause that affect your business, safety or make other employees feel uncomfortable.
These types of in-depth background checks are also commonly requested and carried out by other types of institutions such as banks, schools and insurance companies to name a few.
In summary, a pre-employment background investigation is a vital part of the employment and hiring process in modern times. It minimizes the risk of being a victim of fraud and ensures that you are hiring a qualified professional. With a pre-employment background investigation can find out all you need to know about a person. This includes their employment history and whether they are actually who they say they are and if they can be a viable part of your company and contribute to its growth and success.
RCI International Process Service and Investigations