Facts & Misconceptions About Background Checks

Over the past decade, more companies have started to understand the value of background checks. Performing a background check has become a pivotal part of the hiring process to ensure a safe and productive workplace. Unfortunately, there are some misconceptions surrounding background screening that give employers pause, causing some businesses to miss out on this invaluable modern hiring tool.

If you are thinking about hiring a verification firm to conduct background screenings and credit checks before hiring employees, you might need help to distinguish the facts from common misconceptions in order to make the best decision for your organization. Let’s take a closer look at five common misconceptions and background check facts to clear the record.

1. Performing a Web Search Is the Same as Conducting a Background Check

It’s easy for many employers to think that doing a full name search for a candidate is the same as conducting an official background check. While you might find some scattered pieces of information about a person — some authentic, some fabricated and some about another individual with the same name — much of what you find during a random web search will not be reliable.

How would you verify the little information that you do find? Web searches are almost equivalent to hearsay in a court of law. If you use unverified information to hire or decline to hire an applicant, you could face legal problems. For instance, you might believe you’re hiring an ideal candidate, but if your web-based search misled you, he or she may not be the right fit for the job. On the other hand, you might decline a promising hire based on one piece of “questionable” information you found on his or her social media page.

2. Employers Use Background Checks as a Way to Eliminate Candidates

Many employers — and job candidates — believe that conducting background checks is a way to eliminate candidates. However, most savvy business leaders who are focused on growing their company know that nothing could be further from the truth. No one wants to waste resources on a phase of the recruiting process that is just going to disqualify candidates; it is used to ensure that the right person is hired for the job. A background check can help a hiring manager determine whether a candidate will be a good fit for the company culture and/or specific position.

3. Every Background Check Is the Same

There is a broad spectrum of available background checks to serve various purposes and deliver specific information to employers, depending on the industry and the job requirements. Here are some types of background screenings that employers can select:

• Criminal record checks
• Driver record checks
• Employment screenings
• Education verification
• Tenant screenings
• Drug testing

Most companies do not perform all screening types; instead, many hiring managers choose only those most relevant to their business and the position.

4. Only Large Corporations Need to Conduct Background Checks

Companies of all sizes should ensure that they are hiring the right people for their open positions. It’s often a waste of time and money to hire a candidate who may not be around for the long-haul. Additionally, a high turnover rate is a red flag for many applicants that a company — large or small — may be mismanaged or fosters a toxic work environment. Small- and medium-sized businesses have as much to lose by hiring the wrong fit as their large-scale, global counterparts.

5. All Background Checks Are the Same

Information found on the Internet, at the local courthouse or the Department of Motor Vehicles is subject to inconsistencies and errors — especially if taken out of context and left unverified. The best background check firms ensure that team members are certified in Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) standards and are licensed investigative professionals who check and double-check every fact.

At Global Verification Network, our team offers thorough searches using reliable, highly accurate data sources to provide the information you need to make good hiring decisions. Please contact Global Verification Network today to clear up any other misconceptions about background checks. We’ll be happy to answer your questions about the industry and our services so that we can get started with background screening for your company.