Statistics indicate that nearly 53% of job applicants cite inaccurate information about themselves and their candidature in their resumes to increase their chances of success. It is for this very reason that companies insist on carrying out background screenings on their prospective candidates, and some landlords check on their prospective tenants.
For the uninitiated, background screening is a process wherein an organization or individual uses third parties (usually professional background screening providers) to properly vet candidates for career opportunities.
A screening report is a result and conclusion that is drawn based on this information. These checks could be used for other purposes as well as a means of judging a candidate’s past activities and character and to identify potential risks for safety and security reasons of associating with said candidate.
In the following paragraphs, you will learn the importance of running a background screening and acquiring a background screening report before you make the next big hire for your organization.
What is a Screening Report?
A background screening report is, in essence, a combination of a credit report and a background check. The purpose of this report is to ensure a safe work environment for both the company and the employees hired. These documents prevent fraud, protect the company’s reputation and brand equity, and aim to increase overall profitability.
Depending on jurisdictions and the privacy laws of the land, examples of the information that these firms would gather include criminal records, educational history, credit history, social media history, work authorizations, and other comprehensive indicators of a potential hire’s work ethic and caliber.
Background screening reports by renowned service providers include aspects of an individual’s history, including identity verification, education verification, employment verification, criminal history, the national sex offender list, along with the global terrorist watch list. Screening report completion typically takes between 24 hours to 72 hours, depending on the kind of information requested.
Importance of Background Screening
Workplaces worldwide are constantly in search of trustworthy and reliable recruits to carry the company’s brand with honor. These prospective hires, as potential representatives of the organization, would also carry the company’s reputation with them. When making a hiring decision, organizations rely on various methods that allow them to make an informed call.
For example, they may have detailed interview processes that assess a candidate’s grit and integrity. In addition, it has become a widespread practice for these companies to run background checks through a reliable background screening organization. We’ve explained the most commonly used forms of information collected in a background screening report. Here is the information that screening reports usually contain.
Information Contained in a Screening Report
1. Fraud Indicators
Fraud indicators are specific pieces of information that may point to fraudulent activity. The indicators do not necessarily mean the user was involved in dishonest activity but are meant to alert you to information related to your prospective candidate. Such information may need some extra attention and investigation. Fraud indicators include full credit screenings, criminal background checks, collection history, and civil records amongst other kinds.
2. Full Credit
Credit screening is the process of getting information from both public records and financial agencies so that a recruiter can verify the information of a prospective candidate (or tenant in some cases) gives you on their application form. With this information, the candidate can be evaluated on how reliable and financially responsible they are likely to be as an employee or in any other capacity. With a credit report, you will have at your fingertips the following information:
- Records of financial history such as bankruptcy, non-payment of loans,
- Credit history gives you data on financial matters, outstanding loans, credit card balances, and any history of missed payments, and
- Verification of personal identity information and previous addresses
The true importance of a credit check can be illustrated with an example; Candidates interviewing for positions that handle the company’s finances are investigated for their credit reports and scores.
These indicate how many accounts a candidate may have with lenders and if they are prompt with repayments. In addition to this, some companies may take a strict view on bankruptcies if mentioned in these reports. It is critical to collect all the information you can so you don’t make an expensive mistake.
3. Full Criminal Background Check
Criminal histories and records are often thought to be the primary reason for background verification. Some employers take a grim view of candidates with reportable criminal convictions if these are relevant to the positions being applied for. Depending on the area and the law of the land, employers might have to allow the candidate to dispute the claim.
4. Civil Records
Civil background checks during the screening process provide a larger perspective of the candidate profile at the civil court level. This check typically shows the Civil Court Records and will show any legal claims or current judgments where the candidate is listed as a respondent.
Background checks and screening reports serve numerous purposes and effectively supplement the interview processes that are put in place to pick the best hire. Owing to the limited amount of time spent with a candidate, even after multiple rounds of these interviews, the interviewers are given only a superficial idea of the interviewee.
Engaging the services of an independent firm to run an employment verification check can give you direct insight into how the candidate performed at their earlier job, along with helpful information about their ability to collaborate with teams, crisis management, along with other matters that often do not pop up during interviews.
Forewarned is forearmed and enlisting the services of an independent background check provider to provide a screening report is perhaps the simplest way of carrying out your due diligence toward your organization’s safety and overall profitability.
We understand that although it may appear quite daunting to select a third-party background check provider (given the sheer number of firms that cater to this), know that the research you undertake to find a good organization with reputable services will yield a positive outcome and peace of mind with the confidence in your hiring decisions.