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Background Investigation 101: Why Your Company Should Be on Board

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Ever wondered whether you should conduct a background investigation on new employees? Read on to learn why they’re important!

Background checks are a critical tool in the hiring process. The evidence is that roughly 96 percent of employers conduct criminal background checks.

A prospective employee is going to tell you what you want to hear. Not even the best judge of character and integrity can properly assess an interview.

Background checks give your company a starting point for a hiring decision. Has the prospective employee ever committed a serious crime? For the safety of your workforce, this question needs to be addressed.

Read on for a comprehensive guide to a background investigation. Explore how to conduct a background check and the many reasons why they are important.

What Is a Background Check?

A background check is a deep dive into a prospective employee’s past. Perhaps the most important element is a search of the applicant’s criminal history.

The background check tells an employer if this person has ever been convicted of a crime. The employer receives this information from the court system. There is also a review of the sex offender registry and terror watch list.

Another element of a background check is a review of the applicant’s financial history. Has the prospective employee ever filed for bankruptcy or failed to pay taxes? Other factors considered in a background check are driving records, employment history, and credit reports.

Why Are Background Investigations Necessary?

There are a number of reasons background checks are necessary. For starters, you want to hire quality people that will stay with your company for a long time.

Perhaps most important is the safety of your workforce. What if an applicant has been convicted for a sexual assault crime? Is it wise to insert this person into your office?

From a business perspective, conducting background checks may help avoid liability if something goes wrong. Without an investigation, your company would be vulnerable to a lawsuit in the scenario described above.

Lastly, a background check can verify the applicant’s employment history and qualifications. Prior

employers are contacted

How to Conduct a Background Check?

The first step is hiring a third party like Information Direct to conduct background checks. Your company should seek out a company with the proper credentials and experience to perform this work.

There are a few things to verify with the background investigation service. It is critical that they comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

This law governs what information can be obtained and how it should be handled. You should also verify whether there are any other state or local laws to consider.

Lastly, think about what you will do with this information. It is fair for you to give the applicant an opportunity to address the background check results.

Wrapping It Up

Human Resources use background checks for good reason. They ensure the safety of your workforce and protect the company against lawsuits. Background checks also help find quality employees.

A third party can conduct these investigations for you. If you enjoyed this article about conducting background investigations, check out our business blog for more great content.


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