Employee background checks are a fair way to validate information from a potential job applicant. Because there is no bias into the information found, this data can provide a better insight into the true nature of a job applicant. Typically, these checks will validate things like education and degree completion, employment with a specific company, and length of employment and job position. There might also be a criminal background check that looks for convictions (not arrests) within a court of law.
When this information can be determined, employers have another resource to determine if they want to hire a particular candidate. It also provides an incentive for a job candidate to be honest about whom they claim to be, as an employee background check should uncover any discrepancies.
So what happens if you cannot validate an applicant’s claims? As thorough as most checks are, sometimes there are pieces of information that cannot be substantiated. It is a result of a lack of data that has been reported. While many larger companies report employment histories to reporting agencies, some smaller businesses do not report.
Additionally, employees who have had their employment terminated for theft, but are not prosecuted, may not show up on reports for theft. It may show that the employment was terminated, but the reason might not be disclosed. In fact, for many companies, the actual reason for employee separation may not be revealed.
Previous employers have been successfully sued in the past for disclosing negative information about an employee. The judgments usually state that the employee is unfairly discriminated against when they seek future employment. The end result is that the next employer may know that the employee was terminated, but has no idea if it was for something as innocuous as absences, or something bigger like violence or theft.
Just because a previous employer does not, or will not report specifics about an employee does not mean you have no recourse to protect yourself and your business from a potentially bad hire. You may ask the employee why they left a certain company. You can ask them to disclose what they liked or disliked about their last job- that may lead to their sharing of information that gives you a better understanding of what was going on behind the scenes.
I recently had an applicant come in who had switched jobs every six months or so. After a combination of interviews and employee background checks it was revealed that the employee had been caught stealing at a previous job, and they were making him pay back the restitution.This employee then started stealing at several of his next employers to pay back the original employer’s restitution.
We had a hard time determining any information at first. The employee had worked for several small businesses that did not have any reporting systems in place. It wasn’t until we found the tiniest blip on the radar from the employee he stole from first. The only way we figured out what was going on was because his checks were being garnished for the restitution.
Even if we had not been able to uncover the previous thefts, we might still have turned down this applicant because of his quick turn around at his employers. We were looking for an employee who could reasonably give us a year’s worth of employment, not a month or two.
To purchase Pre-Employment Screening Services or for more information on background check experts, background checks, criminal background checks, employee background checks or pre employment screening contact us at the background check company or call 1.770.426.0547