After interviewing an applicant, you may be tempted to conduct a background check on your candidate. But should you just settle for a social media lookup, or should you go through more thorough and professional checks? Do the benefits of such checks outweigh the monetary cost?

What are the Benefits of Background Checks?

There’s no denying that conducting a series of background checks is expensive, but there are numerous benefits of taking this route. 

Here are 5 benefits you’ll experience with these checks.

1. Make Fully Informed Hiring Decisions 

A candidate may look good on paper, but they could be hiding something that may affect your hiring decision. Even if they aren’t lying, it’s better to be safe than sorry. After all, a bad hire could completely disrupt your company culture or cause serious legal and/or financial issues.

2. Reduce Criminal Risks in the Workplace

Just because a candidate made a mistake, it doesn’t mean they won’t be a good employee. However, it would be very unwise to hire someone with a criminal record if they’re working with children or seniors or in key managerial roles, as that could spell disaster for your company.

3. Verify Candidate Claims and Information

It’s not uncommon for professionals to lie about their certifications, education or identity, and some even get away with it their whole lives. However, if you work in an industry with a lot of risks, like finance, you’ll need to check for different financial certifications to stay compliant.

4. Mitigate Negligent Hiring Lawsuits

A negligent hiring claim is typically filed when an employer knew or should have known that a new hire could pose a severe risk. Negligent claims usually occur in nursing homes, hospitality, delivery companies, the HVAC industry, real estate and healthcare, so do your due diligence.

5. Understand Aspects of Their Personality

It’s not always wise to judge a person by their credit score if they aren’t managing your finances, especially after the pandemic where wage losses were prevalent. However, you can get a read on a person’s personality based on what they post on social media and other notable websites.

7 Types of Employment Background Checks

When it comes to recruitment, transparency works both ways. If you’re able to stay honest with your candidates, the following background checks are more likely to benefit your company.

1. Basic Identity Checks/Verification

Typically, a person will use a different identity to skirt background checks or limit their tax burden. Either way that isn’t the sort of person you want at your company, so you should always verify a person’s SSN and if it’s been reported missing or if it belongs to a deceased person.

While a person’s name, address and date of birth may not be as important, it can intensify fraud or active duty alerts on file. If you see any suspicious flags on file, be sure to report them.

2. Criminal Background Checks

Most employers already conduct criminal background checks, especially in high-risk industries, but it’s a good idea to perform these checks regardless. That’s because these background checks can see if any arrests, misdemeanors, felonies or warrants are attached to a candidate.

Your employees probably don’t want to work with someone who may be a sex offender or a violent criminal, so it’s essential to look into these matters before you offer someone a job.

3. Educational Background Checks

Rarely do employers perform educational, license or certification background checks, but they should. Candidates may lie for years that they have a degree, so they may have ample experience in their industry. 

It’s illegal to hire certain people to work in specific fields without the right qualifications, but even when it isn’t, it’s a bad idea to hire a liar, as they could be lying about other things, as well. 

4. Motor Vehicle Record Reports

If you need to hire someone to drive a company car or truck, you need to issue a motor vehicle record (MVR) report. If you’re subject to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s car regulatory requirements, then an MVR report background check is mandatory instead of optional.

An MVR check will check a candidate’s driving history, license status and class, endorsements, past license status, vehicular crimes, DUI convictions, traffic citations and much more.

5. Credit Score Background Checks

While a credit score background check can offer insight into debt issues, tax liens, poor credit and other money issues, it’s unwise to rate a person’s trustworthiness based on these checks. Five percent of bankruptcies are attributed to reckless spending, while 62% are due to medical debt. 

What’s more, 60% of people who file for bankruptcy earn less than $30,000 per year, so it’s more likely that a candidate is bad with money because they don’t have enough of it.

6. Fingerprint Background Checks

Fingerprint background checks are similar to criminal background checks, except they’re more accurate and virtually fraud-proof. A candidate may lie about their name, SSN or other info that could link them to a crime, but everyone is born with their own unique finger and toeprints.

The only downside to fingerprint background checks is how long they take to perform. If you need to hire quickly, understand that your results can take up to two to four weeks to arrive.

7. E-Verify Background Checks

E-Verify background checks verify the information on Form 1-9 documents, which immigrants need to prove their eligibility to work in the United States. When you participate in E-Verify, you need to post a “Notice of E-Verify Participation” poster in your business or on your website.

If the employee has been authorized, it means they’re allowed to work in America. If you received a Tentative Non-Confirmation (TNC) results, you won’t be able to hire them legally.

Jess Perkins

Jess helps ambitious SaaS companies with growth hacking initiatives to help rapidly scale their inbound leads and customer base. She specializes in content marketing, SEO and paid advertising.