De-mystifying Applicant Screening
hat you spend on a background check should
be governed by the risk in the position. You can figure one half day’s
earnings of the position as a guideline for what you might expect to
All positions carry the risk
of negligent hiring liability if no background check is performed. Courts
have found against employers who hired people in positions where they
damaged others, without having first performed a background check to make
certain that the person they hired wouldn’t be a risk to others.
Higher risk positions require more checking.
Such positions might include these direct risk positions:
- Access to cash, checks, street marketable
inventory, customer lists or other proprietary information.
- Access to product or raw materials having readily
marketable street value.
- Access to customers homes, offices or personal
- Working with children, disabled, elderly, infirmed
or otherwise vulnerable.
A basic background check should include
verification of identity, identification of prior areas of residence
and criminal history( They might have moved from where they used to live
because of a problem there.)
All positions carry indirect risks, such as:
- Wasted hiring/training costs and turnover
- Personal problems interfering with ability to
learn and perform.
- Those with violence potential, accident potential
or less than straightforward intentions.
- Unexpected health or Workers’ compensation premium
These could include substance abuse issues,
overwhelming economic burdens, misrepresented
experience or qualifications, undisclosed family or personal health
concerns and excessive personal stress.
may consider there are three basic avenues available to check out
1. Background check.
2. Drug test.
3. Psychological profile.
is based upon the concept that often, a person’s past is an indicator of
their future. The background check can research county courthouse criminal
or civil records, State or multi-State (called “National” ) database
records, Federal courthouse records, Sexual offender database, Banned
Nationals list and can verify identity/ social number, past areas or
residence and employment, credit and driving history, Workers’ Comp. claim
history, employment, educational background, degrees or licenses and
investigate prior employment circumstances. This tells you whether you are
considering someone who might be a security risk, or who may otherwise be
unsuitable for your company.
identifies those who use substances, and stand to increase your costs as a
result of this dependency. This includes statistically validated increased
absenteeism, health care costs, production errors, accidents on the job and
theft risks, often to to support their habit.
an on-line or paper/pencil questionnaire, designed to match personal
traits, skills, interests and abilities with position requirements. After
all, someone who has no interest or talent for numbers and details will
likely not make a good bookkeeper or inventory control person.
tendencies can be measured as well as stress levels including health,
family and personal levels. It can also define the risk of extended
Worker’s compensation claims, accidents, injuries, theft likelihood and
Depending upon how careful you wish to be, one or all
three methods can be utilized.
Is the service you use significant?
service that has not been in business long enough lacks experience and is
also not likely to be receiving important newsletters, update briefs and
other information from the various sources available. They haven’t gotten
on the right mailing lists and what they don’t know or learn can hurt you.
Newer start-ups often link to the largest and least expensive researchers
for hand research, such as courthouse records, and receive limited ,
inaccurate or incomplete results. They’re often unaware of various
courthouse idiosyncracies and the need to random sample researcher reports.
Experience dictates a certain percentage of research requests ordered from
any researcher has to be tested for accuracy by assigning the same research
to a different researcher. Your service has to be up to date on legalities
and current practices, including FCRA requirements and individual State
requirements. With so many offenses plea-bargained due to an overcrowded
court system, it’s important that your application and release ask for
“ALL” convictions, not just “felonies.” Dates of birth have become
increasingly important as identifiers. If your firm is sensitive to
obtaining this information, your service should be capable of structuring
an alternative method of receiving that information. In short, saving money
is making money but penny wise is not always wise. Look for experience.
Your service is like a lawyer or CPA. The more knowledge and experience,
the safer for you.
SHOULD YOU BE EXCLUSIVE?
of the larger employers across the Country that we service also use a
secondary service to some extent. This provides them the maximum attention
receivable from each service and is a back-up, should one of the services
be unable to deliver for any reason. Exclusivity tends to offer some cost
reduction, in some cases, but may not be a bargain. Regardless of quality,
accuracy and efficiency, you are locked into that scenario whether you like
it or not.
SHOULD YOU TRY BEFORE YOU BUY?
A service should allow you to sample (at a cost) their services prior to
getting formally involved.
IS TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL A REALITY?
Too small means your service may not be capable of checking certain areas ,
or may subject you to their growing pains if they seek to become larger.
big means you fit into their standard procedures or can’t have exactly what
you need. Obtaining special services is not likely, either. For example,
Client’s have had us verify information in far away places, such as the
Phillipines, check out vendors and franchise applicants, conduct exit
interviews in Spanish, research competitive wages/ benefits and
accommodatie applicants in cities other than the client location. Recently,
we connected a client to a licensed investigator for an employee issue.
Since you don’t pay extra to have a vendor who can accommodate special
needs, why not have that resource available?
C.E.O. Background Bureau, Inc.
address any questions or comments to Mr. Paris.
BACKGROUND BUREAU, INC.
Corporate offices: 2019 Alexandria Pike Highland Heights, KY 41076
( 859) 781-3400 Fax: (859) 781-9540 email@example.com or visit