It’s very important to conduct pre-employment background checks, considering you are hiring someone to make the company run smoothly and profitably, paying them with the company’s money and entrusting them to carry on a safe working environment. It is risky if you judge a person’s character in the few minutes or hours that you interview them, and it is necessary to find out about anyone’s past transgression to see if they could do anything harmful to your company and existing employees. Let’s go through some basic background checks a company might have in their hiring process, some flaws they might have and what you can do as a company.
The main background check that would be necessary for any organizations is finding out if a candidate has a criminal record. It may be embezzlement, credit fraud, or something more violent, it’s necessary to be aware of these things considering you’re bringing, essentially, a stranger to work with your employees or co-workers. They could do harm to the workers and the organization. A company needs to be strict with their ethics and anti-corruption rules within its organization so as to maintain a safe working environment. Finding criminal records might be a worse case scenario in any hiring process.
A lighter background check would be doing reference checks to shed some light to the candidate's character. The drawback for not doing a reference check is that the candidate might have some character flaws that caused a disruptive work environment within their former organization. Background checks and reference checks might not tell everything about a person’s character, but it would probably give some indication of their personality and sometimes predict their career path. It can also help the new manager understand a suitable management style to help the candidate excel in their new role.
Though we have discussed the overall surface level advantages of doing background checks, criminal record checks and reference checks, we should touch upon what could happen if we go too far. Some concerns about doing extreme background checks like criminal record checks is that we should be aware of how recent, or far in their past, those transgressions have been. People can change throughout their lifetime, and a person's character might have changed given enough time. We shouldn’t make any snap judgment based on something minor the candidate might have done when they were young and reckless. It’s important to balance background checks and overall reference checks to find good middle ground.
If you’re a candidate, you should be honest with recruiters so they can support you better and share your reference to make you stand out. They can represent you best with all the correct information provided and help inform the hiring managers to be more subjective and find the balance in going through background checks. If you withhold certain information, it only serves to make you look a little suspicious and lead to a loss of trust with what could have been, your future employer. All in all, we should all be careful with how we represent ourselves to others and aim at all times to be truthful and honest.