Time and money. Most companies can’t afford to lose either by hiring the wrong person. While making a bad hire may happen on occasion, employers can minimize it with background checks of promising candidates.
Background checks help ensure a job candidate is qualified for a position and poses no threat to the safety and security of others in the workplace.
Most employers run some type of background check on every single hire. To do so, they need a candidate’s signed consent. If they decide not to hire someone based on a background report, they must notify the candidate in writing and provide a copy of the report.
Because background checks can be labor-intensive and time-consuming, companies sometimes outsource them to companies specializing in these services.
The most common pre-employment background checks used today
Former employment checks are used to verify a candidate’s claims about education, work history, and professional license. Recruitment employment agencies can fulfill these background searches to confirm the facts as presented on the resume.
Reference checks can be challenging and take more time. Job candidates tend to supply “safe” references—people whom they believe will vouch for them. So, can hiring companies go beyond these references to ask about skills, past performance, and personality? Yes, companies can contact previous employers as long as candidates give permission. But companies shouldn’t speak to anyone on a candidate’s “do not contact” list. Nor should they check with the current employer without the candidate’s consent.
Getting information from former employers can be difficult because many allow managers to provide only dates of service and salary, and possibly job title and duties. Though companies are legally permitted to give more information, they can choose otherwise to protect against legal action by former employees.
Criminal background checks help companies guard against a new employee putting other employers, customers, and the company at risk. They check candidates’ criminal records to identify major convictions, mainly felonies. While lesser crimes can be searched, an employer in Pennsylvania may consider an applicant’s conviction when hiring only if it is relevant to the job.
At TriStarr, when we do criminal background checks, we access national criminal databases; sex offender registries; and federal, state, and county criminal records.
Be aware that some states and cities have enacted “ban the box” protections. These forbid employers from asking job applicants to check a box if they have been convicted of a crime. Generally, employers may ask about a criminal record only after the first interview or, as in Philadelphia, only following a conditional offer of employment. Pennsylvania is not a ban-the-box state at this time.
Additional background checks that recruitment employment agencies can handle include credit histories, driving records, drug screenings, fingerprint background checks, and E-verify background checks (for legal authorization to work in the U.S.).
At our recruitment employment agency, we screen candidates by doing background checks, providing personality/behavioral assessments, and conducting initial interviews. Our employment specialists can assist you in finding the best candidates and hiring the most qualified employees.
TriStarr is an employment agency in Lancaster, Pa., also serving Harrisburg, York, Lebanon, and Reading. Contact us online, or give us a call at (717) 560-2111.