The First Commandment of Background Checks
For all employers, hiring a new employee is quite the investment. However, the consequences that come with a poor hiring decision can be a larger, unwelcome investment. One popular risk management technique often used in hiring decisions comes in the form of background checks.
Brosnan Risk Consultants’ “Ten Commandments of Background Checks” is a highly-regarded set of guidelines designed to assist employers in their employee hiring practices. Below is an excerpt from the piece, designed to outline tips and suggestions for using background tips:
The First Commandment
I. “Thou shalt not rely solely on criminal history checks”
A National Criminal Records Check doesn’t exist in the U.S. and is a misnomer. A statewide repository check for criminal records does exist, but it has gaping holes. The completeness, accuracy and consistency of these records vary greatly from state to state. In many states, California and Illinois for instance, a lot of counties don’t even report criminal record data to the state – ever. This disconnect between the county, where the arrest is actually made and the state where the records are deposited, is an ongoing problem with no solution in sight. Problems range from human error to arcane laws. Bottom line: statewide checks are inherently flawed.
When performing a criminal records search, proper due diligence requires a tightly-focused county criminal court search in all of the counties the subject has resided as an adult – no exceptions.
A seemingly high-qualified candidate applied for a job as an administrative assistant. Her resume was stellar with one exception: she never mentioned residency in Hawaii after college. On her Facebook page, she commented briefly on surfing in Hawaii after graduate school. A county by county search at the local courthouses uncovered a conviction for the sale of two kilos of cocaine. A quick call to the Hawaii Department of Corrections confirmed she had been in state prison for three years.
Examples like this happen all the time, which is why it’s important to conduct proper background checks. For more tips, here’s a peak of the full list of commandments:
II.“Thou shalt not believe an applicant’s employment history”
III.“Thou shalt not dismiss the possibility that an applicant may have a secret company”
IV.“Thou shalt not rely solely on reported financial data”
V. “Thou shalt not disregard any accusations, complaints, or even gossip”
VI.“Thou shalt not disregard accusations in civil transcript”
VII. “Thou shalt not hesitate to shine a light in every corner of an applicant’s history”
VIII. “Thou shalt not believe that the internet alone will provide all the answers”
IX.“Thou shalt not accept personal information as factual”
X.“Thou shalt not minimize the importance of tax liens and judgments”
If you’re interested in receiving a free copy of “The Ten Commandments of Background Checks,” email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like to request a consultation with Brosnan Risk Services, click here.
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Brosnan Risk Consultants