Four Tips for a Successful Employment Background Check | Jobs In ME
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Four Tips for a Successful Employment Background Check

By: Margaret Hansen

Essential Part of Recruiting

Hiring a third party to conduct formal background checks may seem like a large investment, but according to experts in the background checking industry, it can save more money in the long run.

In a recent JobsInME.com poll 44% of employers polled said they always contract a third party background checker for employment verification. Only 13% said they perform all checks in-house and they include reference calls and maybe a web search check.

According to Crimcheck founder, CEO and President Ted L. Moss, skipping a formal background check can leave a company wide open to resume fraud (when an applicant fabricates his or her years of experience, education and/or skills).

"It's risk mitigation. It's a necessity; it's like buying insurance," said Moss. "Providing a safe work environment for your employees and customers is the goal. [With a background check] you increase productivity and profits and reduce turnover."

According to Moss, the cost of a pre-employment screening runs about $75 to $100 and is well worth it.

Four Tips

If you decide to contract with a background checking service, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) offers these tips to ensure successful employment verifications:

  1. Provide as much information as possible with your search request. Providing the full employer or school name, city and state information, name used at the institution (married or maiden), and full contact information for a reference are critical in getting the reports results back accurately and in a timely manner.
  2. Have a signed consent form from the applicant. Some sources, especially educational institutions, may have a policy in place that requires a copy of a "wet" signature (one in pen or pencil, as opposed to an electronic signature) consent prior to releasing information.
  3. Request the right level of verification for your needs. If a subject's previous salary or GPA is not important in the hiring process, don't ask the third party to obtain it. Acquiring such sensitive information will likely increase your costs and delay the reporting of results.
  4. Be patient. Often, returning a call to a third party verifier is not a priority to many people who may be busy with other tasks, and it could take longer than expected.

Margaret Hansen has been writing professionally since receiving a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maine. She has worked for multiple organizations as a weekly newspaper reporter, a weekly newspaper editor, and in a variety of internal/external marketing communications roles. Her freelance career has focused on writing and editing for print, email and web publications in the employment industry, as well as manuscript editing and resume writing.