By Aashish Taneja
The humble background check is one of the most effective tools in the hands of recruiters. It not only helps in hiring the right candidate, but also in eliminating the risk of white-collar crimes. Sidestepping this crucial process is just not an option—53% of all job applications are said to contain factually-inaccurate information and 30% of business fails can be attributed to malpractice committed by employees.
A background check helps employers verify a candidate’s claim on employment history, address verification, education check, criminal record, gap verification and reference check. The corporate world had seen a few high-profile exits in the past due to misrepresentation of facts. Such loss of reputation could have been avoided by simply following due diligence in background checks in the first place. Studies have shown that bad hires can cost up to five times their annual salary. Loss caused by key staff such as managers and executive managers is four times higher than that caused by regular employees.
Continuous background screening is also gaining momentum as employers are starting to weigh the advantages of conducting post-hire screenings. Continuous background screening allows employers to make informed employment-retention decisions. Periodic checks are mandatory in many firms for promoting employees or reassignments to roles with access to critical information or higher responsibilities.
Social media: While it enables companies to directly interact with target audience for a more personal relationship, it can also be an unforgiving place when it comes to mistakes. Each employee is a brand ambassador on social media and a single post may be all it takes to make or break. It is, therefore, advisable for companies to make social media check a part of the pre-employment screening.
Risk: Each employee carries with them a certain level of risk. Despite all the vetting and interviewing, the threat remains of hiring an applicant who ends up underperforming, perpetuates scams, or causes serious harm in terms of workplace violence, theft or property damage. Psychometric screening as part of background check can help firms make informed decisions in selecting the right candidate. The test can be helpful in situations where there are numerous candidates, and when combined with other recruitment tools can help recruiters get a holistic view of the candidate’s skills, ability and personality.
It is important for recruiters to keep themselves updated with the latest information, so that they can make the best possible decision every time.
(The author is co-founder & director, Background Checks, Netrika Consulting. Views are personal.)