Blog · May 8, 2021

5 Best Ways on How to Do an Employee Background Check

Hiring new employees can be tough. You want to find the most qualified person with the right temperament but often employers don’t check the history of an applicant. Getting into a situation where you regret hiring someone because of their problematic past is not ideal.

The solution is an employee background check. Having a standard policy of performing a background check on prospective employees will save a lot of grief in the future because you get a better picture of someone based on past behaviour. While a person’s past doesn’t necessarily predict their future, you will have enough information to make an educated guess on hiring. You also verify information in their resume and from their interview.

An employee background check is a way to verify information that a person gives out during a job interview. You can authenticate all the information provided and find out additional facts that may or may not disqualify a person from employment. These include a criminal check, their education, employment history, and other past activities. You should only look for information that is relevant to the job and keep it confidential.

The employee background check can be done internally, or outsourced to corporate investigation services for a quick and thorough job. Below are the five ways on how to do an employee background check:

1. Have a background check policy

Having a background check policy is one of the best ways on how to do an employee background check. If your company conducts background checks, you need to have a documented policy. It maintains transparency with your employees, avoids human rights concerns, and keeps your hiring practices consistent.

You must adhere to gov’t policies regarding fair employment practices and how background information is collected and used. Also, when a person applies for a job at your company, they should be informed during the hiring process that as a condition of employment there will be a background check conducted.

2. Obtain information from the applicant

You need to get consent from the prospective employee in order to do a background check. This is part of Canadian privacy law. Rules vary in provinces but in Ontario, you can only collect documents for background checks that are required for the nature of the job position. This practice limits discrimination against a person during the hiring process. These can include:

  • Birth certificate – you need to know that the applicant is a legal resident of the country.
  • Social insurance number – this ensures that they are employable by gov’t standards.
  • Drivers license – this primary identification shows who you legally are. Also, it identifies any driving infractions in case a clean abstract is vital if the position requires delivery driving or sales.
  • Professional credentials – this will confirm their professional experience and provide references to contact.
  • Educational credentials – you can verify their educational qualifications as stated in the application.
  • Police records check – shows any criminal history of the applicant. This may be important if the employee will be in a position of trust like handling money.

All documentation is to be kept strictly confidential. Never share this information with anyone but the applicant.

3. Run a background check

There are several background check service providers you can use. Hiring a company with experience in obtaining background screening information that adheres to federal and provincial laws is crucial. Use a private investigation agency with expertise in revealing undisclosed information and using their investigative tools to verify details on public record. They also need to be fast and thorough.

4. Reveal findings to your candidate and allow them to respond

It is only fair that you go over the findings with your applicant. Gathering information doesn’t tell the whole story. Especially in the digital age, social media posts can paint an unflattering picture of a person’s private life. This may not affect the outline of the job but can speak to a person’s character.

Give the person a chance to respond and explain troublesome information as they may prove some incorrect details that were collected or put context to a situation. By allowing them to review the information, you may avoid losing a great employee that made a few mistakes.

5. Review the background report in light of your post-interview and make a hiring decision

You should take time to go over the details of the background report and see where anything might affect the specific job requirements. Equipped with all the information, coupled with any further explanations from the applicant should give you a clear understanding if they are the right fit for your company.

Knowledge is power and you need it when making a new hire. You must use caution when picking a new employee and having an employment background check system in place is key. This way you can perform your due diligence in order to avoid any complications down the road.

Everyone has a past and if they are looking for work, that means they left some other employment. In order to protect yourself and your company, institute an employment background check policy. It will give you peace of mind and a more qualified new employee.