When making a hiring decision on a worthy candidate, you might need a bit more information than a candidate provides on his or her application. You can safely assume a higher percentage of job seekers withhold vital information, such as the applicant’s activities while “self-employed” or while the candidate is trying to cover-up periods of unemployment, incarceration, or other embarrassing circumstances. The frequency of such misinformation may rise as people get more desperate for work in trying economic times and/or rising unemployment.
It may not be cost-effective or feasible to run a background check on every job candidate, but certainly you should conduct one on finalists for any position in your organization. Different levels of background checks are acceptable – basic checks for lower- or entry-level positions and more extensive checks for supervisory or sensitive/strategic positions (for example, IT or accounting personnel). The rule of thumb is the bigger the risk, the better the check.
You may decide to conduct a background check on employees you promote, particularly if you didn’t conduct a good one when they were first hired or if you haven’t done one for a long time. Even if the worker is not up for promotion, conducting an updated background check on key personnel every three to five years may be a wise strategy. If an employee is routinely driving company vehicles, a driving record check is appropriate. Also, as a worker is given more access to the company’s electronic or filed records, running a credit report or criminal records check could reveal pertinent information.
-Vince DiCecco, Your Personal Business Trainer