Why Background Checks are Essential
5 min read
Would you trust a nurse who made up jobs and college diplomas or an accountant with a history of fraud? These aren’t hypothetical scenarios made up to scare you. These are real cases where background checks for employment could’ve prevented reputation damage and loss. These cases show why background checks are essential.
You may have heard of the more than 7,600 fake nursing diplomas issued in the United States. In a similar case of misrepresentation in Canada, a Kingston, Ontario woman used forged documents to pose as a nurse. There was also the Montreal, Quebec emergency room doctor who lied about a PhD. Scary, right?
In the United Kingdom, Stephen Day defrauded the National Health Service (NHS) and others out of more than £1.3 million. Day had a history of fraud, but he managed to secure a position at the NHS by lying and presenting fake references.
Even in less extreme cases, the failure to verify a candidate’s education and credentials can put your organization at risk. This is why background checks are essential and continue to be foundational to talent acquisition teams – they’re a critical part of the hiring process. If you’re worried that waiting on results will compromise your time-to-hire KPIs, I’ve got good news for you about online background checks. Keep reading to find out!
Reasons why Background Checks are Essential
As I mentioned, background checks are essential to talent acquisition teams for several reasons:
- Ensuring Trust and Safety – Background checks are essential because they help your team establish trust and maintain a safe work environment. By thoroughly screening candidates, you can verify their qualifications and credentials and work history. Ensuring that candidates possess the skills and experience required for the role not only helps you prevent hiring individuals with false or exaggerated claims, like the examples above, but it also counts as due diligence.
- Mitigating Risks and Liability – Background checks are essential in mitigating risks and minimizing legal liabilities. By conducting thorough checks, you can identify factors that could impact your candidate’s ability to perform the job or pose a risk to your company, employees, or clients. This proactive approach helps protect your reputation and reduces the potential for negligent hiring claims. A win-win. According to IBM’s The Cost of a Data Breach Report, 83% of companies will experience a data breach at least once. The report goes on to add that data breaches cost companies $4.35M on average. I found it interesting that internal actors are involved in 30% of breaches, from mistakenly sending data to the wrong person to being a willing participant in a malicious attack. Given this, background screening with public records searches that comb public databases to identify potential illegal behaviour, incidents of fraud, and regulatory violations is another added layer of protection (if permitted in your jurisdiction).
- Maintaining Regulatory Compliance – If you work in industries such as health care, finance, or education you know there are strict regulatory requirements related to employee screening that you have to undertake as part of your hiring process. Background checks are essential because they help organizations fulfill these requirements and maintain compliance with industry-specific regulations (and keep your legal and compliance teams happy). This is essential if your employees have access to confidential information, deal with vulnerable populations, or handle sensitive financial transactions. Examples of such regulations include the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in the United States and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
- Protecting Client and Customer Interests: Checks play a vital role in protecting the interests of clients and customers. In positions where employees have direct access to sensitive data, finances, or personal information, employers must verify the trustworthiness and reliability of candidates. For example, Certn’s Security team details the importance of background checks for SOC 2 compliance. This helps prevent insider threats, data breaches, or instances of fraud, thereby safeguarding the interests and privacy of the organization’s clients or customers.
For the reasons described above, it’s not a stretch to say that background checks are essential to running a successful business. It’s crucial to invest time and resources into conducting thorough checks on potential employees, and to conduct them in a fair and consistent manner, adhering to legal and ethical standards.
Still not convinced that background checks are essential? Credence Background Screening’s research uncovered that a quarter of the 55,000 CVs analyzed contained inconsistencies, of which 15% of inconsistencies were related to a candidate’s reported academic achievements.
Reduce Time-to-Hire with Online Background Checks
My team and I are always looking for ways to increase efficiency in our hiring process and reduce time-to-hire.
I believe automation can enhance the hiring process without compromising the importance of personal relationships and human interaction. Talent acquisition professionals can leverage technology to improve efficiency and effectiveness in candidate sourcing, screening, and selection, while still maintaining the personal touch and candidate experience. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using resume screening and scheduling tools and automated email reminder features to save time and effort, but I tell my team, “Your job is to spend quality time with the candidate.”
There’s good news if you’re skipping screening because you’re worried about your time-to-hire. Alongside leveraging the features in your ATS, you can’t go wrong with a faster online background check.
Online background checks can reduce the time to hire by streamlining the entire screening process. Here are several ways they achieve this:
- Instant Access to Information: Online background checks provide faster access to information, allowing your team to more quickly retrieve and review relevant reports. Instead of waiting for manual checks or third-party verifications to come back, online platforms can more easily scan large volumes of data and provide faster results, saving you valuable time in the hiring process.
- Automated Processes: Online background check services automate various aspects of the screening process, from retrieving information to generating reports, these platforms eliminate the need for manual data entry and processing.
- Comprehensive Database Searches: Online background check vendors have access to extensive databases and records, including criminal records, employment history, and education verification. Instead of individually contacting multiple sources, you can rely on these services to efficiently search and compile all the necessary information in one place. Online background check platforms often provide real-time updates when new information becomes available. This allows you to stay informed throughout the screening process and make timely decisions.
- Improved Candidate Experience: Online background checks simplify the screening process for candidates as well. By eliminating the need for paperwork, multiple forms, and physical visits, candidates can complete the screening requirements conveniently from their own devices. This reduces the time and effort required from candidates and ensures a smoother experience, which, as you know, can positively impact their perception of the hiring process.
By using online background checks, you can significantly reduce the time required for screening and hiring processes. The automation, instant access to information, and streamlined workflows offered by these platforms helps you make efficient, well-informed decisions, ultimately accelerating the time it takes to hire.
Get Faster Background Checks
Integrating checks into your hiring process is a strategic decision that benefits both your company’s success and the well-being of your employees, customers, and clients. Background checks are essential and by running them as part of your hiring process you can ensure trust and safety, mitigate risks and liability, maintain regulatory compliance, and protect client and customer interests. If you go one step further and use Certn’s online background checks, you may even find efficiencies by streamlining your hiring process.
The Certn background check process is online and we provide digital results in as little as 15 minutes (depending on the check you’ve ordered). Our identity verification process is also online, which means candidates don’t have to travel or wait in line to verify their identity. This functionality prevents candidate drop-off since we know 70% of applicants won’t apply if it takes too long.
Book a demo to talk to one of Certn’s compliance experts to make background checks essential and an integral part of your talent acquisition and talent management practices to ensure longevity of your business.
Carla Arthur, Director of Talent Acquisition, Certn
Carla Arthur, Director of Talent Acquisition at Certn has over 18 years experience in talent acquisition and full-cycle recruitment. She’s led amazing teams of professional talent partners across Canada, from operational high-volume to corporate recruitment, Carla knows it takes a team to create a remarkable hiring experience. Carla holds a Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) certificate and a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of Victoria.