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HR Best practices for performing Employee Background Screening

In this fast-paced world, it is becoming increasingly necessary for organizations to hire candidates with a global exposure as such candidates help an organization in meeting challenges and opportunities internationally. For a multinational firm, an internationally experienced candidate is of capital importance in order to persist in this competitive world.

In the recent past we have come across people even in the Top Management of several Companies misrepresenting their credentials. Hence, it becomes very important to conduct background checks at all levels, irrespective of an employee’s hierarchy in the organization or the talent/skills they possess.

The human resource department assumes charge of the background screening in most of the companies. They run background checks as they want to ensure that the candidate they hire is the ‘best’ & ‘safe’ candidate to fill the open positions available in an organization. The HR personnel try to collect all the pertinent information about each candidate in order to arrive at an informed and sound decision on hiring. Another trend which is catching up is social media checks. Employers have indicated that social networks help find evidence of unprofessional behaviour such as complaints about former employers or discussions of drug abuse.

It is crucial to adopt a multi-layered approach in candidate screening starting from identity verification, academic & employment credentials, criminal records, and other details as required by the Company’s standards. The greatest challenge for HR personnel is to analyse the data received during the hiring & subsequent decision-making process. Another challenge is to ensure that their background check process adheres to the laws of the land.

For ensuring the verification is more authentic and credible, an identity check is to be done with the relevant government entity, an educational degree or certificate is to be verified with the relevant University / College, and so on. In short, the provided document is checked for authenticity with respect & in accordance to the issuing authority of the said document.

The greatest misconception in conducting background verification checks is not incorporating them as part of the hiring process. Due to this, the price of replacing a bad hire far outweighs the value of a good background check. The way in which the HR department handles a candidate’s background information can influence the candidates' career and a Company’s progress. It is a critical decision made by the human resource team of an organization and it deserves much higher importance since it can affect a candidate’s life and the Company’s success to a significant extent.

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