background checks

Debunked: The Biggest Myths About Background Checks 

Apr 25, 2023 | Resources

Background checks have become a standard practice in the hiring process for many companies, but there are still some common misconceptions about what they entail and how they benefit employers. These myths can lead to a reluctance to conduct background checks, leaving businesses vulnerable to hiring candidates with questionable backgrounds.

Many businesses choose to bypass pre-employment background checks on job applicants because they believe myths such as background checks are only necessary for certain positions or that background checks are too expensive and time-consuming. However, they need to see the benefits of conducting pre-employment background checks.

The benefits of running pre-employment background checks far outweigh the potential cost and time involved. This article will discuss common myths about background checks and the benefits of running background checks.

What is a Pre-employment Background Check? 

A pre-employment background check is similar to a standard background check. This process uses the individual’s name, birth date, social security number, and other related information to gather information about the individual from public and restricted access points (such as court records, police reports, and more). 

Pre-employment background checks can typically cover several points:

Identity verification — Verifies that the applicant has supplied an accurate name, social security number, and citizenship status.

  • Employment history — Provides an overview of the individual’s work history and includes where they have worked to the dates they worked in each job. 
  • Educational background — Verifies the accuracy of any degrees or certificates an applicant or new hire has claimed. 
  • Criminal history — Learn if an applicant has convictions of any crimes, is on a watchlist, or has any other legal situations that may interfere with the workplace. 
  • Government-issued licenses — Many roles require state or federal licensure to apply and go through the hiring process. A pre-employment background check confirms an applicant has a valid license in the required areas and shows the expiration date for the license. 
  • Motor vehicle records — Informs you of all citations, warnings, accidents, and other information included in an applicant’s motor vehicle records.
  • Credit check — Use an applicant’s credit report to determine an applicant’s or new hire’s financial responsibility. 

Biggest Misconceptions About Pre-Employment Background Checks

Myth #1 — All Background Check Companies Provide the Same Information

Every background check company is not the same. While companies must all follow the same standards for completing pre-employment background checks (which varies depending on state or locality), each background check could be different from the next.

 And cheaper does not necessarily mean better. By choosing a less expensive background check, you may get shorted on valuable information or receive incorrect information, which could negatively affect your company. 

 All background checks are not the same either. While comprehensive background checks are valid and can include all the points mentioned above, some companies may only pull criminal history and a credit check or other points rather than conducting a comprehensive background check. Keep in mind what your company’s requirements are about background checks and narrow your screening selections from there. 

Myth #2 — Background Checks Hold Up the Hiring Process. 

While you may think that passing up this step of the hiring process will save you that “much-needed time,” background checks do not take as long as you may think. Most pre-employment background checks are complete within three days of inquiry and may even complete in as little as 24 hours. Of course, this also depends on the information you want to include in your company’s background check process. 

Myth #3 — Each Provider Follows the Same Process for Identity Verification 

If your company prefers a comprehensive background check, pay attention to the source of information provided by the screening company you choose. 

 Most background checks start with a National SSN Trace. This search pulls from a database of thousands of sources from subscriptions, online accounts, utility bills, credit reports, and more. Choosing a provider that gets their National SSN trace from a database having thousands of sources will give you a more thorough overview of applicants and their personal/residency history. 

Myth #4 — Only Large Companies Need to Perform Background Checks

While large companies may have a more considerable amount of assets to protect, it is the small to medium-sized companies that can benefit most from pre-employment background checks. 

 Hiring the right talent comes with the inclination that they will provide positive results for the company. Hiring the wrong talent can cost your company a considerable amount of money, meaning smaller companies have more at stake. Choosing the right company to provide valid background checks will help you make smarter hiring decisions without wasting valuable funds.

Benefits of Background Checks for Employers

Now that we have covered some of the biggest misconceptions related to background checks, let us review some ways your company can benefit from running background checks.

Benefit #1 — Hire Quality Employees

Maintaining standards when hiring new employees is vital to keep your workplace safe. If an applicant has something to hide, they likely will not apply for a position requiring a background check. By implementing pre-employment background checks, you are likely to see an improvement in the quality of candidates that apply for your open position.

Benefit #2 — Safe Work Environment

Your duty as the employer is to ensure your employee’s work environment is safe. When hiring a new employee, you will be held accountable for what you know and, more importantly, what you do not know. Running a background check will ensure you avoid hiring dangerous or dishonest employees and will help you provide a safe work environment for your employees.

Benefit #3 — Cost Reduction

Hiring a new employee can be costly, from recruiting, hiring, and training to wages and benefits. And hiring the wrong candidate the first time can increase these costs significantly. A background check can help you avoid hiring a candidate who is dishonest or a criminal.

Benefit #4 — Maintain Legal Compliance

Certain industries are required to perform background checks. The regulations and requirements can vary based on your state and location, so it is essential to choose an investigator who understands the requirements in your area.

 It can also help you limit liability if a problem occurs. For example, if there is an issue of violence in the workplace, running a background check will show that you took reasonable steps to prevent the problem from happening, which can mitigate your liability.

Pre-Employment Investigations for Professional Candidate Screening 

Background checks help companies protect the health and safety of their organization. Therefore, choosing a trusted partner to supply accurate, legally compliant information as quickly as possible is essential. Look no further than the team at Pre-Employment Investigations for your company’s pre-employment screening needs.

 With a no-fuss electronic system with easy-to-reach, friendly customer service, our team has the best pre-employment screening solution for you. From court searches to credit reports, DMV services, and more, our team will provide valuable information that will help you make a well-informed, comprehensive, and objective decision on every applicant. 

 Contact us to get started with professional screening services today.