Refining Job Applicants with Background Checks

By Michael Klazema on 1/3/2011

The employees you hire determine the success of your business. So if you want to be profitable, you can’t afford to be lax in your hiring process. The economy has had a strange effect on the hiring process, in that more people are applying for fewer positions, and if you aren’t careful, then you might be overwhelmed with the number of responses to your advertisement.

Sometimes, the need to fill a position immediately means that you do not have much time to carefully consider each applicant. With the competitive marketplace, you might think you have found the perfect resume, only to find out later that the applicant was a little too liberal when describing their work experience and credentials. While most people will not lie outright on their resumes, if they have something to hide (such as a criminal background) you might not know about it until after you have already hired them.

You want to give your human resources department all the tools they need to make a good decision, and background checks are a great way to ensure your future employees meet all your legal requirements.

Recently, employment background checks have become more advanced, and they let you verify dates of employment, job titles, recommendations and salary history. While you might not do this type of screening during the first round of interviews, once you become serious about an individual, it is increasingly important to run background checks.

Applicants who hold criminal pasts are more likely to stretch the truth on their resume. published a survey that said 49 percent of employers had noticed applicants who fudged more than they thought appropriate.

To filter out unqualified applicants or to ensure you have made the right choice, a background check can help give you peace of mind in the employment process.

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  • December 04 Chicago Public Schools has dismissed hundreds of employees, coaches, vendors, and volunteers based on background check findings. The district recently vowed to re-check the majority of its 68,000 employees after a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed holes in its background check policies.
  • November 29 Striving to create a safer environment more conducive to productive training and leadership development, the Army has recently moved to adopt a uniform policy of background checks for certain roles. 
  • November 27 California’s biggest public school district is waiving the cost of volunteer background checks. The move is meant to encourage more family - and community members to get involved with the school district.
  • November 22 Contractors play an important role in the workforce, delivering services to both individuals and organizations. Vetting contractors for suitability continues to be a challenge, as two recent articles prove.
  • November 21 When it comes to background and pre-employment checks, it can be instructive to look at the characteristics of the ten most massive U.S. employers.
  • November 20 The #MeToo movement is bringing about legislative changes employers need to know about. We review some of the laws recently passed in California.
  • November 19

    Will a criminal conviction show up on your background check forever? In most states, there is a year limit for how long background check companies can report older criminal information.

  • November 15

    Replacing an inconsistent array of procedures, Ontario's government has passed into law a reform act intended to clarify how police departments should handle requests for information to be used in background checks. 

  • November 14 The federal government has vowed to cut its backlog of security clearance background checks in half by spring. Currently, the backlog is approximately 600,000 names strong.
  • November 12 To ensure the best hires, DFWSPF has implemented a stringent employee screening process—one that includes background searches through