Once upon a time it was almost frowned upon, but nowadays it can most certainly be said that more and more industries are relying on background checks. While today’s article is going to hone in on these checks based in the recruitment sector, let’s not forget that some people will even rely on them for their personal use. In other words, they will check to see if their partner, or maybe another family member, is really who they say they are.

In other words, perceptions of them have changed. Nevertheless, there are still caveats if you are to take this action from a recruitment perspective, and through today’s article I will provide my background check guidelines for any business who is looking to make the perfect hire (and follow the rules).

Your approach needs to be consistent

Before we get into the possible legalities by state related to these background checks, let’s firstly point out that you need to be doing everything in your power to ensure that they are being carried out consistently. This all relates to equal opportunities and to make sure that all potential candidates are being treated the same, any employer who is looking to rely on background check information should ensure they are conducting consistent searches around their applicants.

Consistency stretches to rejections

On the subject of consistency, let’s talk about what happens if you do decide to reject a candidate based on something you uncovered in a background check. Sure, you are completely within reason to do this, but only carry out this action if you would have rejected other candidates for the same reason. This again relates to those elusive equal opportunities issues that have already been spoken about.

Research should only relate to the job role

You might have intentions of diving really deep into a person’s credit report, but this is only going to be allowed if the job role in question is related to finance. For a lot of roles, you really don’t need to know just how financially savvy a person is – it’s not going to make a difference to their performance in the job you are advertising.

This doesn’t just relate to financial reports either. For example, while some candidates will need a criminal background check, this won’t matter in the slightest for some roles. There has to be a degree of relevancy to the background check you are performing and the job that the person is applying for.

Privacy is key

Following on from all of the points we have addressed, it should be noted that many of these areas involve a lot of private information passing hands. Sure, much of this data can be obtained by any member of the public should they wish, but that still doesn’t disguise the fact that it is private in some ways and should be treated carefully. You are under an obligation to protect the privacy of candidates and if you fail to do this, your reputation might be questioned.