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How to conduct pre-employment background checks
Staffing & Recruitment

How to conduct pre-employment background checks

Pixoul providers employee background checks that help to ensure a safe, happy, and productive workplace. By running pre-employment background checks, employers ensure that they hire trustworthy people. They can avoid hiring an employee whose past behavior may lead to problems in the workplace.

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Devon Fata
June 21, 2022

A pre-employment background check is a crucial part of hiring. It gives you the opportunity to find out if a potential employee has any criminal history or past financial issues that could impact their ability to succeed in your company. In addition, hiring managers can use background checks as part of their overall recruiting strategy.

What is a background check?

A background check is a comprehensive review of your past employment, health, and criminal history. There are three types of background checks:

  • Pre-employment background checks look at your work history, education, and driving record. These are typically done to determine if you're qualified for the job in question.
  • Post-hire background checks are performed once you've been hired by an employer as part of their due diligence process to ensure that all new employees meet their standards for suitability to work at their company. They may also be used as part of an exit interview process when someone leaves a job voluntarily or involuntarily (such as being fired).
  • Periodic background checks are conducted periodically throughout employment with an organization; this could be every year or every few years depending on what's written into employee contracts and how often companies choose to do them. These are especially common in hospitals and other medical facilities that require strict standards for employee health.

Types of background checks

A background check is a detailed investigation into your work history, education and personal life. The information gleaned from a thorough background check can include criminal history, health history, credit history, driving record and references. Each type of background check is used for different purposes depending on the job requirements.

When do you need a background check?

Hiring a new employee is a big deal. It's also one of the most important things you do as an employer. When you hire someone, you're making a commitment to help them grow and succeed, and they're making a commitment to work hard for your business.

But before you give someone access to your business information, customers or clients—and their money—you need to make sure that person can be trusted with this responsibility. This means running background checks on all new hires, contractors and vendors so that you know what kind of people are working for or providing services to your company.

Background checks are an essential part of running a successful organization because they allow companies like yours:

  • To make sure employees have the skills necessary for their job description;
  • To determine whether employees have any criminal convictions on their record; and/or
  • To find out if any pertinent health history that may pose safety risks relevant to an employer's workplace.

How do you request a background check?

A full, comprehensive, and through background check is not available to the general public. You may only request a background check from one of the following sources:

  • A staffing agency (like Pixoul). If you hire your employees through a recruiting firm, it's common that they will perform the background checks for you. This is generally the preferred route, as the entire process is usually seamless for the employer. You provide the name of the individual who needs the background check completed, and the staffing or recruiting firm will handle the rest.
  • A third-party provider. If your candidate is not being hired through a staffing agency, you can request a check through a third party directly. This route tends to be a bit more involved, since you'll be handling most of the compliance documentation and paperwork yourself.
  • Finally, you can also request a background check through a government agency or court system in your state/county/township directly. This is the least preferred method, as it tends to be a tedious and unnecessarily lengthy process.

Are background checks effective?

While background checks are an effective way to identify potential risks and determine if a candidate is a good fit for your business, they're not 100% reliable. A thorough, comprehensive check can provide you with a wealth of information on candidates' past behaviors and issues—but it's important to understand that there are limitations.

Background checks won't tell you everything about someone's life and work history, so they should be used in conjunction with other tools like reference checks, interviews (if possible) and the individual's application materials. This comprehensive approach is another reason to leverage a staffing firm for background checks--it's common that the screening process will involve several components, including interviews with past employers, personality profiles (like DiSC), and more.

What are some third-party background check providers to consider?

Most staffing firms, including Pixoul, receive preferred pricing and offer the cost of a background check at a "pass-through" price to their clients. Because of this, we don't recommend using third-party providers directly; any reputable recruiting firm can save you time and money. Still, there are many third-party background check providers available that offer a variety of services.

Use an E-Verify system to verify your candidate's Social Security number, name, and date of birth. This will help you determine if they have any criminal convictions or outstanding warrants in another state before you hire them.

Checkr is another popular choice that offers more advanced tools. It allows you to search by name or driver's license number and it also provides verification reports when needed.

What are the next steps?

If you’re considering using a background check service, there are many things to consider. You want to make sure that the process is handled properly, and that the information is accurate and up-to-date. If you're considering a background check in the future, get in touch with us. We'd be happy to discuss our pricing, discounts vs. traditional third-party options, and more.

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Devon Fata

Devon is the Chief Executive of Pixoul LLC. He works closely with clients to explore new ways to capture key performance objectives, build habit-forming products, and improve digital product ROIs.

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