Employers want to make the best possible hiring decisions for your business. Doing so supports culture, increases productivity, and encourages growth. However, making the wrong hiring choices can be costly. In fact, research shows that one bad hire can cost a company an average of $17,000. This is why it’s essential for employers to conduct a routine and thorough background check when hiring.
Unfortunately, as employers conduct these checks, there are some common myths that could misinform both employees and employers. The following are some of the most common misconceptions that you can’t afford to believe — whether you are hiring or being hired.
All you need is a Google search
Some employers may believe that a search engine will provide all the information they need for a background check. However, this is not true. A Google search may bring up social media profiles, published works, listed employment history, and newspaper articles. But this is generally not enough to learn an employee’s full history.
Specialized background check websites and services will bring up accurate criminal records, credit history, employment and education credentials, driving records, and residence information. All of these facts may be crucial to your hiring choices and may not show up on an internet search.
Skipping a background check shows trust
Inexperienced employers might think that conducting a full background check for potential employees shows that they don’t trust their applicants, so they skip them altogether. However, forgoing background checks can lead to wasted resources and a costly hiring mistake. By running a background check for each potential hire, you can ensure that your new employee ticks off all of your boxes.
If you are an applicant who is skeptical of background checks, remember that these screenings ensure that you are working with a team of trusted individuals. So, the extra hiring time is worth it.
A criminal record means you won’t get the job
Most background screenings will pull up an applicant’s criminal record. Some prospective employees might be worried about what might come up in this report, a flagged record does not necessarily mean that you won’t get the job offer. Remember that an employer likely won’t pull an offer because you stole a shirt as a teenager. Employers are generally more concerned about felonies and more serious financial crimes that typically occurred within one’s adult years.
Applicants should always be up front with potential employers about any negative records that they have, and employers should give prospective employees the chance to explain their situation. Both parties should also be aware of state laws dictating criminal background checks, how far back you can research, and what industries are permitted to investigate a criminal history.
Employers don’t usually call references
As a prospective employee, you might believe that employers rarely call the references you list, so you might not alert your professional references that you are distributing their contact information. However, calling references is often a key part of the screening process. If your references are not expecting the call and act confused about being contacted, your potential employer might see you as irresponsible.
Employers should always take advantage of the references listed on an application. These testimonials will give you an honest account of what it is like to work with the employee and whether they would be a promising hire.
While there are many misconceptions about employee background checks, both applicants and employers need to take these screenings seriously. Doing so will ensure that businesses are staffed with reputable professionals. While the screening may extend the hiring process, these steps are beneficial to an employer’s business and an employee’s overall job satisfaction.