Growing a Business

What must an employee background check involve

Performing an employee background check is not simply a norm, but an essential for any organisation. Imagine hiring a bad employee with a weak track record. He is sure to be a disaster to the business. If he doesn’t prove a disaster, he might just cause you waste of time, money and resources. Employee background checks are therefore used to identify any negative information associated with him or her, and screen them out.

A negative record could involve a poor past performance, poor academic record, poor reputation or even a criminal record. You may want to do the check with the consent of the employee to obtain exact information and references who can tell you more about him.

Summarising what must be looked out for:

Credibility of the testimonials

Irrespective of when the applicant graduated or moved from the previous company, it is always useful to check whether he can support his details of his academic and past employment history. His credentials must match with what has been projected in his resume.

Identity check

This is essential to confirm the personal details of the employee. These could include full name, date of birth, address, nationality, marital status, social security number etc. Several countries have credit check companies that can help you to ascertain the truth of his details. Alternatively the details provided in the passport or a provincial examination certificate must tally with the details he has provided.

Financial stability

Few organisations in different parts of the world do a check on whether the applicant if financially stable. They obtain the detail in terms of bankruptcy filings or other financial statements. However in many places this measure is not recommended.

Criminal court records or lawsuits

This is essential to ascertain if the candidate has any prohibitory orders as a result of a crime. You must make sure he is free to work and if you can hire him. You may do a police verfication check. Similarly verify that he has no lawsuits hovering around him as they may disturb his performance. Secondly you also come to know if he is of good conduct.

Performance check

Most often you would achieve this by talking to his past employers and immediate supervisors from the previous companies he worked for. They can give you a detailed picture of his abilities and strengths and the areas where he may fail. One you make up your mind to hire him, you can bear in mind that his weak areas need to be fortified.


Few companies may also utilise services of detectives for employee checks. Although it may not be a common practice, but quite a few organisations have resorted to this practice.

Entrepreneurial Learning

Hiring the right employee is crucial to an organization’s growth. While employment norms may sound too rigid in the process, but eventually you will attract only the genuine and capable candidates by adopting tough measures of screening.

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