Home / Background Checks / Background Checks For Employment – Are They Necessary?


We live in a day and age where people will do just about anything to land a respectable job. This unfortunately includes lying about and or exaggerating their level of experience and authenticity of their qualifications.

Most employers in businesses today instinctively and routinely revert to a simple background check in order to make sure they get the real scoop on a prospective employee.

There are numerous reasons why you want to check out that would be newest employee for example:


  • If someone you want to hire has a record of fraud and credit related felonies you’d definitely want the story about that before you entrust them in any position whatsoever that deals with finances.
  • If a person claims to have advanced driving experience and qualifications you should be able to verify the statements before letting them drive around valuable business vehicles.
  • Employing someone who has been listed as a sex offender can really land you in some hot water. You have to always keep the safety of other employees in mind, and this type of exposure could lead to some serious lawsuits.

There are a lot more reasons why you might consider having a background check done on a prospective employee, but whatever your reasons, you have to ensure that the way you go about the task is always lawful and won’t be used to discriminate against the individual.

Background checks are the essential tool to ensure you make the best decisions in order to ensure a great quality hire for a certain position.

Some of the things you need to consider before, during and after doing a background check though, remain crucial and you should always approach the matter with caution and professionalism.

First of all, you need your tentative hire to sign a disclosure stating that they are aware of and give consent to a background check being run on them.

If you want to stick to the rules (and stay of hot water) then complying with the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act ) is an absolute rule of thumb. This includes you notifying the individual in question that you are running a consumer report on him and that the outcome could potentially influence the recruitment process.

Ensure you have looked into what your local governing body allows you to do with this information though, as some states have severe restrictions on what you can and cannot do.

Can You Use The Information?

If you are enquiring about a prospective employee’s Criminal Background, there are also a few pitfalls that you should be aware of. It’s illegal to use criminal offenses older than 7 years to deny a job application. You are only allowed to take make a decision based on this, if and when a conviction and sentence was delivered and the crime’s nature is to such an extent that you cannot trust the individual with classified information or finances etc.

You can read more about exactly what you are entitled to act on from the website of the EEOC Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

There are quite a few ways that you can check an individual’s background that doesn’t necessarily include a full background checking service and won’t have you violating the law. You have to just put your thinking cap on and look at what the candidate has produced you with.

  • Verify their qualifications. Very few businesses actually follow this step, but do yourself a favor, pick up the phone and make a call to the institution where the candidate claims to have achieved his qualification just to ensure that these facts are true and accurate.
  • Get some previous employer feedback. You can learn a lot about a person by having a quick chat with their ex-boss and this could help point out issues you might have to look into.
  • You can’t use this as backup, but Google will tell you a lot about a person’s background and character.

When in doubt about whether or not you should be conducting a background check, ask yourself if you really need more information than what the candidate provided you with, and if more information will ensure a better hire for the particular position.

Although it has been reported that over half of job seekers out there will lie or add a pinch of salt to their experience level when applying for jobs, not everyone avoids the truth. It’s always a good idea to ask the applicant what exactly it is that you want to know, and this in turn shows you a little bit of the character of the individual that will essentially help you make the most viable decision.


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