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How to Make Your Background Checks More Effective

Posted by Confessions of the Professions in Articles

Michael Klazema


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At this point in your career, you probably know that background screenings are imperative when it comes to hiring new employees and for many people, when retaining employees. If you are doing the smart thing, you are probably using a background screening company in order to be sure that your employees are who they say they are. This is certainly considered best practice and something that you should be doing with each new employee. However, there are ways to make these background checks even more effective than you ever thought possible without adding extra cost and stress to your day.

Make Sure Your Background Screening Company is Giving You What You Need

One of the main things you can do to ensure that you are getting the most of your background checks is to ensure that the background check screening company you are using is giving you all of the information you need in order to make an informed decision. One way to find out is to compare what you get from your current background screening company with what others are offering. Because these companies come in all different sizes and offer different services, it can be well worth your time to see what else is out there.

Understand What the Fair Credit Reporting Act Means for Your Business

Another thing that you definitely should be doing is to understand how the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) affects your business. The FCRA was introduced in order to fully protect the personal information of applicants who are applying for work. No matter what, because of this regulation, you are required by law to get signed permission from your candidates and employees to do background checks on them. On top of that, you must tell the employee what background check screening company you are using.

Pay Only for the Background Check Information that You Actually Need

You should also make sure that you are only paying for the background check information that you actually need. For example, there is no reason to pay a company money to run a DMV search, for example, if your employee is not driving a company vehicle. You will also find that some types of searches, like credit checks, may even be limited by laws in your state. Because so many background screening companies offer packages, make sure you are only using the services you need in order to save money.

Consider Supplementing Your Search

Finally, you may want to supplement the information you get from a background screening provider with an internet search that you do on your own. Information that you get on the internet, including on social network pages, is free and public, so you are certainly able to, if you wish, access this information. Though there is an ongoing debate about employers accessing employee information online, what it comes down to is this...if they don't want people to see it, they shouldn't put it on a public forum. Though a hiring decision shouldn't be based on this information, it won't hurt to look.

About the Author
Michael Klazema has been developing products for pre-employment screening and improving online customer experiences in the background screening industry since 2009. He is the lead author and editor for He lives in Dallas, TX with his family and enjoys the rich culinary histories of various old and new world countries.Michael Klazema


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