This week, we will finish up our list of top 10 background screening mistakes.
Here are the final 3:
#3: Utilizing a background screening company that is not accredited
Information is only as accurate as the source. Background screening partners should not be chosen simply by the lowest price. Employing a background screening company that has dubious information sources or sloppy best practices can result in a report that does not adequately screen the applicant.
The National Association of Background Screeners (NAPBS) awards accreditation to companies that prove the strictest of best practices and procedures. Background screeners must go through a rigorous process to prove they maintain the highest standards of operations in order to be recognized as accredited. Only 2% of background screeners currently hold this accreditation. Choosing an NAPBS accredited company ensures you are working with a top performing background screener.
#2Taking the information the applicant supplies at face value
Believing resumes and applications can be a big mistake, because lying on a resume has become a popular practice.
It’s estimated that almost half of resumes contain at least one item that is not true.
a: Degree fraud. Applicants may list a degree when they only attended classes at a university or college, or may not have ever gone there at all.
b: Dates of employment 1 in 3 resumes are estimated to contain some sort of fraudulent dates of employment. This can range from stretching employment dates to cover job gaps, to claiming they were ‘self employed’ for a certain timeframe. Some applicants will even create jobs to cover gaps in employment.
c: False references. A good portion (estimated at 27%) of all resumes contains a false reference. Applicants may lie about this because they had poor performance at their previous job, or may have fabricated their entire work history. The potential hire may submit incorrect or incomplete reference information in hopes that the employer will not take the time to ‘track down’ the reference. The resume may also contain fraudulent information that directs employers to friends or family members-claiming they are managers or co-workers-that report in glowing terms on the applicant.
d: Inflating job titles. Lots of applicants believe they can land a higher paying position by fabricating a higher job title. Many candidates will ‘promote themselves’ to a title several levels higher than their real one in hopes that the potential employer will offer them a similar position to the one showing on their resume.
Protect your company from a dishonest job applicant by looking at resumes and applications with a critical eye and verifying all information on the resume.
#1: Misunderstanding criminal records
One of the biggest and most serious mistakes a company can make concerns criminal records. Here are a few points to remember:
- Criminal records are filed by name. It’s widely believed criminal records are filed by social security number, and this is not the case. Criminal records are filed by name. This makes it very important to spell the name correctly, and to also search any maiden/alias names.
- Criminal searches are not one stop shopping. Different crimes are held in different courts, whether it be county, state, or federal. Searching a county will not show a crime that was committed in a different county (even if it was just one county over). In the same vein, federal charges (drug trafficking, embezzlement, etc) will not be found in the county in which they were committed because they are held in federal courts. Finally, the widely utilized National Criminal Database is not a complete database, as some county and states do not report to a database. Employers need to conduct multiple types of criminal searches in order to gain a true picture of the applicant.
-Each state has its own laws. Some states gather county information, so a state search is complete. Others do not. Some states have a 7 year restrictions. It is important to be familiar with the laws of the particular states that hiring is conducted in order to stay in compliance.
To close, employers need to be aware of the pitfalls. Being educated on the background screening process will allow for better, clearer practices and more informed decisions.
~~Susan McCullah is the Marketing Project Manager/ Background Screening Division for Data Facts, Inc, a 25 year old Memphis based company. Data Facts Inc -an NAPBS accredited company- is a leading provider of employment screening solutions. Check out our website for a complete explanation of our services.