How to Conduct Employee Background Checks?

So, you have found the perfect candidate for your company’s open position. Their resume is impressive, their skills are exceptional, and are an ideal fit for your organization’s culture.

So obviously, you would hire them? Right?

Not before you conduct an employee background check on them.

Some applicants exaggerate information, fabricate details, or conceal their real backgrounds to land the job. Background checks are therefore crucial for businesses looking to hire new employees.

In fact, a study conducted by the Society of Human Resources Management cites that 53% of all job applications contain inaccurate information.

You can reduce the likelihood of making a bad hire by conducting background checks before you make final job offers to candidates. It will reveal any details the individual may have concealed or lied about during the interview process.

Here is what you need to know about running proper employee background checks at your company.

What is an Employee Background Check?

An employee background check is a method used by businesses to verify the accuracy of the information provided by job candidates in their applications. It entails investigating all pertinent facts and documents to determine the candidate’s authenticity. Depending on the work position, the employer will look into things like employment history, schooling details, criminal records, and so on.

Employers can either do their own background checks or contact employee background check service agencies to ensure that you are a good fit for them.

Why Conduct Employee Background Check?         

Background checks are a crucial element of the end-to-end recruitment process since they inform the employer that the candidate has the necessary education and experience required for the position. It ensures that they have selected the best candidates to contribute to their company.

Employers also need to make sure they are protecting their business from individuals who may engage in fraudulent or reckless behavior in the workplace.

Apart from mitigating the impact of a bad hire, state and national regulatory compliance is a major benefit. This depends on the industry and type of position, but you can use the background checks to show you did your due diligence. Proper record-keeping is necessary to demonstrate that your organization is in compliance with regulatory standards, thereby protecting its credentials or reputation.

What are the Different Types of Background Checks?

The kinds of employee background check an employer can conduct are wide-ranging and include everything from employer history, credit checks, education, and driving records to social media and criminal history.

Putting each candidate through all possible background checks is both expensive and unnecessary. You need to evaluate each position and job description individually to determine what background checks are necessary and why, and then follow through with the checks that make the most sense. 

Usually, companies undertake the following types of background checks:

  • Education Background: Background checks such as the accuracy of the candidate’s education details. For example candidates’ education and degrees on their resume.
  • Employment History: Verifies the previous organization’s history and duration of employment, designations, and salary numbers.
  • Professional Reference Check: Here, the hiring manager contacts past employers of a potential candidate. And can be communicated through email or phone to discuss the candidate’s work history, past performance, experience, and skills.
  • Address Verification: For any organization, the correct residence of its employees is fundamental. It helps an organization contact the employees in case of any emergencies.
  • Social Media: Search candidates’ social media to examine candidates’ online activity. And ensure details like awards and claims about performance are true or not.
  • Credit check: Determine whether the applicant is financially responsible. This is especially true if they will oversee the budget or have access to corporate funds.
  • Criminal Background Check: A criminal background check looks for any criminal history or charges against a candidate. It is a vital check when it comes to safety in the workplace.

How to Do Employee Background Check?

You can follow the steps given below to conduct the background check in your company:

Step 1: Design a Background Check Policy

Always create a background check policy before conducting any checks. Here, you must have a pre-determined flow chart of work and checks to initiate. You should also note the repercussions when you find false claims. In short, your policy should be as detailed as possible.

Policies used to direct managers and the human resources team to give proper notice of potential candidates and routinely conduct background checks.

The policy should include a sample authorization form that applicants must fill out to consent to a background check. The policy can be implemented as a stand-alone policy or as part of your employee handbook.

Step 2: Collect the Candidates’ Information

When collecting candidate information, gather what’s necessary for conducting the background check. Typically, that includes basic contact information like name, address, phone number, education details, employment details, etc. It may also include other data to verify a candidate’s identity, like their date of birth. However, avoid gathering any information that could lead to discrimination, like race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, disability, etc.

Step 3: Run a Background Check

Next, you can conduct employee background checks depending on your industry, and open positions while complying with state laws.

For example, suppose you want to hire a candidate for a finance-related position. In this case, you might want to check the candidate’s employment history, educational details, and credit reports.

Also, before doing any checks, you must inform the candidates that you will do certain background checks. If you are not comfortable with how to proceed with the employee background check, you can outsource it to various reputed firms.

Step 4: Allow Candidates to Explain the Results

In the era of social media and cloud computing, more candidate information is readily accessible. These checks may uncover other possible red flags. These red flags may not necessarily indicate that an applicant cannot be hired. Unless the applicant’s troubled past is directly relevant to the job, you may not be allowed to deny them employment.

Keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes. It is essential to interview candidates. Before making a choice based on a background report’s findings, let the individual clarify their history.

Step 5: Make the Hiring Decision

Once you have access to the background check materials, review them to see if your candidate is qualified to work for your organization. If you don’t feel at ease based on the information you’ve gathered, move on to other prospects who may better reflect your organization.


An employee background check is a good investment in developing a high-quality team that will assist you in meeting your business objectives. Customize your screening policy to your industry and job positions and select a source who can supply the data you require while also assisting you in remaining compliant. You will increase hiring quality and reduce risk by making informed hiring decisions.


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