Every employer should be doing background checks on their prospective employees. This should be common place and employees should expect it, unfortunately they do not. If you have an interviewee who takes offence at having them done, might have something to hide. Obviously, this will not be the case for everyone, but it does give you food for thought.
For all those employees out there who take offence at being subject to a background check, think about how much the employer has to lose if they put their trust in you and it doesn't pay off. If they hire the wrong person, it could stay with the company for a long time, plus it will have connotations for their staff and future clients.
Not to mention that they would have wasted their money on your wages and they would have had to spend even more money on the hiring process so that they can find an employee who is more suitable. It shouldn't be something that you take offence at.
What is an employment background check?
An employment background check is a check an employer does, on an employee, to see if they have had a positive background. They check employment history, medical history, criminal background and some even check the background of family members. This is only the case when you have contact with children or you may be working for law enforcement.
What is the Law on background checks?
The laws on background checks vary depending on state and federal law, but no matter where you are, you should stick to them. Now, onto the main law. If you are doing a background check on an employee, then you have to inform them of your intention to do so and inform them of their rights. They must then sign a consent form informing them of the areas you are checking and then of their rights to have a copy.
What to do once you have the check?
Once you have the background check, if everything is positive, then take the next step in the hiring process. If the check is more negative then you should have a conversation with the person. Find out the circumstances and see what they say. There could be mitigating circumstances. Obviously, if there aren't, then you should think hard about whether you want to hire them or not.
It is important to have a look and see if there are any patterns in their employment history. If you find that they are fired from every job, then you should look elsewhere. If they have only been fired from one job, then speak to them and see what happened. It might not have been their fault.
Should you do the check yourself?
If you do the check yourself, then you are going to be restricted to searching on the internet, or on their social networks. You won't get any concrete information yourself and the information may not be legal anyway.
It is the law in many states that a background check can only be done by a licensed company. Therefore, you should use screening company. They will get more information for you anyway and this will prevent you from seeing information that might be data protected and therefore against the law for you to see. A licensed company will know where they can and cannot go.
It is up to the employer if they want to do a background check. You should get used to signing the consent forms otherwise you may not get a job. If you are an employer, then stick to the law and communicate with the employees and don't take the check at face value. No one is perfect.