Whenever you’re hiring a new employee it’s a good idea to run a background check to expose any unknown risks.

The background check will provide two major functions.

Verify the identity of the individual
Expose any additional red flags in their past

Just the act of running a background check will deter many ill-suited applicants from even applying.

To run a background check, first, you’ll need written authorization from the applicant.

Verify the identity of the individual

Once you have their signed consent, you’ll need to have the person’s name, date of birth, and social security number.

This is important in verifying their identity. Does the information provided on their resume match with the information on their background check?

It’s not out of the realm of possibility that someone would try and falsify their identity in order to obtain a job.

If you see any discrepancies with their identity you’ll want to clarify with the background check company and then the applicant.

Sometimes these can happen due to a name change so it’s important not to jump to conclusions.

If there is not a reasonable explanation you have your first red flag.
Expose any additional red flags in their past

The role this applicant will be applying for matters when assessing the background check.

A great example of this was the media firestorm created by the hiring of Head Coach Matt Patricia by the Detroit Lions.

The Lions did not conduct a proper background check and failed to spot an arrest for aggravated assault in 1996.

This is an extremely high profile position and that record is a public record that was pulled by the Detroit News.

This was a public relations nightmare for the Detroit Lions who eventually stood by their hire.

If your application has a record pertaining to assault this is a red flag that at a minimum should require conversations internally and with the applicant to get a clearer picture.

This is especially true with positions that are public facing and can put an organization under a microscope.

Assess the type of position the person is applying for and how that affects your hiring criteria.

A sex offender status is a major red flag for any type of position tied closely to a vulnerable population.

A criminal or theft record is a major red flag for a position that is tied closely to the handling of financials.

The level of concern a record creates is directly correlated with the type of position.
Cost can be a red flag

If you’re vetting background check services you’ll want to be aware a couple red flags with the service itself.

An easy one to spot is if the service charges you substantially higher fees for Nationwide searches compared to State searches.

The difference in data cost is pennies between a Nationwide and State search but some services will add an upcharge of $10. In these instances, they’re price gouging and hoping the consumer isn’t educated on the costs.

You can read more on how to negotiate background checks in bulk.

In conclusion…

Inform the applicant upfront that you’ll be running a background check to deter ill-suited applicants.

Be aware of what types of records are more problematic due to the position you’re hiring for.

Make sure the identity of your applicant matches with that of the person applying.

Be aware of any red flags in the pricing structure of the background check company as these can be small indicators of larger problems.

Author's Bio: 

Richard Fronczak works at Fidelis Screening Solutions and provides tenant screening for property managers and comprehensive background checks for hiring professionals.