In an ideal world, every candidate in the job market would possess exceptional skills and a stellar reputation, making background checks seem unnecessary. However, the reality is different. While many candidates are indeed excellent matches, it's essential to recognise that thorough screening is crucial. Background checks ensure the organisation's reputation remains intact by identifying and mitigating potential risks associated with specific candidates.
Selecting the right candidate takes practice and experience. The right combination of CV checking, interviewing, social media checking, reference checking and background checks will reduce the risk of making an expensive and poor hire.
Why are background checks necessary?
Unfortunately, in this digital age, it is far too easy to create a professional-looking standout CV and watch TikTok videos on how to ace an interview. At the extremes, an impressive candidate might be lying about how they obtained their qualifications or their working relationship with previous employers.
Learning too late that a worker withholds certain information will negatively affect other workers, clients, and your business's bottom line. A thorough background check is crucial to obtain an accurate picture of the people you hire for your organisation. An extensive background check will reveal:
- Forged qualifications
- Doctored grades
- Addresses that do not exist
- Unreliable or inaccurate references
- The claimed work history does not exist
- Integrity concerns
Specific industries have a greater ethical and legal obligation to screen applicants thoroughly. Working with children, the elderly, or those in vulnerable situations are a few examples, as are jobs requiring cash handling, entry into private homes, and positions granting access to private data, including financial and medical records.
What are the common hiring background checks?
These four background checks are essential for lowering the risks of selecting new hires. The sensitivity of each role will dictate the extent of the necessary background check.
1. Police/Criminal Check
Employers would be well advised to conduct criminal background checks on prospective hires. A criminal background check is necessary to protect the organisation’s clients and current employees and safeguard the company’s financial security.
2. Qualification checks
Unfortunately, it is easy to fabricate just about anything these days, including an educational background. A qualification check will confirm an applicant's qualifications.
Hiring someone with false credentials will undoubtedly affect a business because if an employee doesn’t have the skills or qualifications they claim to have, they will not be fit to do the job and can put others at risk
For every job, it is worth evaluating if the qualifications gained form an integral part of the job required before insisting on a qualification. At times, the experience and skills gained will be enough.
Dishonest employees can wreak havoc on a company, causing bad press and harming its reputation. There could also be financial losses resulting from bad press due to a rogue employee. There are several examples in the press of government ministers, advisors and JSE board members who have falsified their qualifications and ended up in the press.
3. Driver’s licence check
A driving licence verification must be taken into consideration before granting a potential employee access to a company vehicle. The employer must be aware of any driving violations before allowing the employee access to a company vehicle. If the person is going to be driving other employees, this becomes even more crucial.
4. Reference checks
A reference check with previous employers will corroborate (or disprove) a potential candidate’s claims of relevant experience and job responsibilities. It will also help to learn important information about the character of the individual an employer is considering hiring.
Reference checks will verify whether the candidate is reliable, punctual, collaborative, has high absenteeism and takes initiative, as some examples. Their job title, responsibilities, and dates of employment will also be verified.
Every reputable recruitment agency will conduct free reference checks on a prospective candidate. At RecruitMyMom we can provide our clients with a copy of the reference check.
A background check is an investment; avoiding a bad hire saves employers time and money in the long run. If you need assistance with screening applicants and background checks, RecruitMyMom can assist.