Whether you’re an employer, a landlord, or even just a concerned citizen, there are many reasons why you might want to do a background check.
And while it’s not always easy to get the information you’re looking for, with a little know-how and persistence, it is possible.
In this article, we’ll show you how to do a background check step-by-step. Keep reading to learn more.
How To Do A Background Check In 5 Steps
The process of doing a background check begins by setting the foundation for a just and consistent procedure, and it ends when you have all the information you need.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to conducting a background check:
Step 1: Have A Consistent Policy
It is important to document everything related to a person’s background check process. By having a consistent policy, you protect your business and yourself from potential lawsuits.
To develop a policy, answer the following questions:
- What information are you going to look for?
- How will you get this information?
- Who will have access to this information?
- When will you run a background check?
If you only apply specific procedures to some candidates, such as only performing credit checks on candidates from certain backgrounds, you could face inconsistency claims.
Step 2: Get Legal Guidance
Background checks can expose sensitive information. In some states, obtaining specific information as part of a background check is illegal unless you have a business reason for doing so.
You should always consult with a lawyer or your human resources department before conducting any background check to ensure that your company’s background check will not result in any unwanted legal complications.
Step 3: Give Applicants a Chance To Explain Themselves
One of the most important steps in conducting a background check is to allow applicants to explain themselves.
There is a possibility that the information received through background checks is inaccurate since there can be multiple records for the same person.
Allowing applicants to explain any negative information found through a background check gives them a chance to offer context and potentially save their candidacy.
If you give candidates the chance to analyze and verify the information, you may be able to prevent an amazing candidate from being mistakenly removed from your pool.
Step 4: Use FCRA-Compliant Background Check Services
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) clarifies what you are allowed and not allowed to do when conducting a background check.
When in doubt, it is always ideal to use the services of a professional background check company specializing in FCRA-compliant checks.
Some of the information that you might be able to obtain through an FCRA-compliant background check includes:
- Credit history
- Criminal records
- Employment history
- Education verification
- Professional licenses
Although the FCRA mainly controls all background checks, you should know that different state and local regulations may also apply, depending on the location.
Step 5: Never Assume That a Background Check Will Be Routine
When conducting a background check, it is common for seemingly insignificant steps to reveal crucial elements of data.
Make sure that the managers in charge of hiring take the process seriously and pay attention to the valuable information that can be found in a background check.
For example, if an applicant has been arrested but not convicted of a crime, this does not mean they are automatically disqualified.
The circumstances surrounding the arrest and the severity of the charge should be considered before making a final decision.
Step 6: Take Appropriate Action Based On The Results
Once you have received and reviewed the background check results, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to hire the job candidate.
If the information in the background check is not accurate, you may need to give the applicant another chance to explain themselves.
If the information is accurate but does not disqualify the candidate, you can move forward with the hiring process.
In some cases, the information in the background check will be so severe that it will automatically disqualify the candidate. In these cases, it is best to move on to another applicant.
Also Read: Does Debt Show Up On Background Checks?
Conducting a background check is an important step in the hiring process, but it is only one part of the puzzle.
Be sure to also consider the applicant’s qualifications, skills, and experience when making your final decision.
Now that you know how to conduct a background check, you can be confident that you are making the best hiring decision for your company.
Amit is a young entrepreneur who specializes in background checks. After completing his high school certification, Amit spent half a decade trying different background check services. He has worked for several background screening firms and gained valuable industry experience.
Amit is the founder of BestBackgroundCheckSite.com, where he helps all its users navigate complicated decisions about their personal lives and careers.