A natural progression to starting a business is hiring employees. Some people you may have known for a long time and feel comfortable in offering a position if they meet the skill requirements. For other persons whom you do not know well or at all, a background check is advised. Save yourself from falling into the pit of regret by running these checks before you invite someone to be part of your company. Hiring people who turn out to have criminal links or legal issues that reflect poorly on your business could be a hit you don’t recover from. Be smart.
You might think background checks are limited to whether a person has outstanding parking tickets or has been arrested and served time. Wrong. It extends way past that. Utilizing the OFAC watchlist search, you can efficiently screen all job applicants against key databases to include the anti-terrorism, anti-money laundering, and the most-wanted lists for both the United States and other foreign governments. The office of Foreign Assets Control watchlist further grants access to information on all persons linked to firearm and explosive incidents, and who make up part of the fugitives list
Whether you have any suspicions about a potential new hire or are filled with every confidence in this person, it will be best to input their personal information and run the search. Run searches to verify employment and education qualifications, MVR records, evictions, and bankruptcy. Knowing a person is who they say they are and not presenting any fabricated information to make themselves seem better suited for a position will help you confidently make a decision for or against their employment.
Check Their Socials
More and more, employers are asking applicants to provide their handles for social media, be it Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat. If this information is freely given, you are then well within your right to assume this acts as permission to investigate these pages and platforms. Some may contend that you should not alert the applicant to your intention to scope their publications as this gives an opportunity for them to quickly delete whatever they prefer you do not see. Others say it is only right and decent that this should be openly communicated to the potential employees as this can be viewed as an infringement of privacy.
Whether you choose or refuse to, it cannot be denied that social media holds a lot of information about a person. It could sway your decision one way or the other.
Publicize Your Background Check Policy
This would eliminate the ethical grey area of peeking at their social media accounts unbeknownst to them. If you clearly state on your applications that your business undertakes background screening of all applicants, any person who does hand in an application will do so with full knowledge of your intention. Not only does this remove any ambiguity, but it is also mandated by federal law. Have your labor attorney draw up the policy to cover all bases and leave no area for misinterpretation. If not included on the application form, make sure it is present in the business handbook or mentioned in the interview.
Give The Interviewee A Chance To Explain
The results of the background check are black and white. You would be tempted to immediately say yes or no based on what you read. But are there some circumstances where an explanation should be allowed? This is all up to you as the boss, but there is some usefulness in allowing the applicant to shed some light on whatever situation turned up on the search. It is not unheard of that these checks return non-factual information. If an applicant says such, allow them to provide proof of this claim. Should they be able to substantiate their position, the final ruling should be in their favor.
Something on their social media might rub you the wrong way or send up warning signs in your mind. By large measure, people post randomly on these platforms, not necessarily anything that relates to their core values. Allow the potential employee to shed light on the post. This could result in you re-evaluating your initial instinct to deny them the position.
As you would have come to understand, background checks are valuable but not cut and dry. Not all information will be factual and not everything you see or read will give an apt description of the person looking for employment. In addition to running the search, take some time to sit and speak with the applicant about things that make you second guess offering them a job.