Background check warning signs
Background investigations include key personal information about job applicants that help a company avoid the wrong hire. Here are a few red flags hiring managers should carefully consider when examining a resume:
*Negative reviews from coworkers: A poor reference from a prior employer may be off-putting, but they don't always stand as a reflection of overall job performance, or an accurate predictor of how an employee will perform in the future. Rater bias and subjectivity can taint the screening process, as there may be personal history or other issues at play that are difficult to glean from a short phone conversation.
Transferability of performance review data can also cloud a background check, as a worker may be applying with a company that has a vastly different culture than their previous organization. The hiring employer may miss out on a great employee if its using skewed information to determine candidate efficiency. In that light, most poor reviews should not be taken at face value, and at least result in a conversation about the applicant.
*Bad credit history: Credit checks are not applicable for all positions in the U.S. - less than 50 percent of companies study a job seeker's credit history when considering them for a position, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). However, credit checks are a legitimate screening tool for jobs that require money management and other financial responsibilities.
Employers hire background screening companies to review a candidate's history of loans, mortgages and credit card accounts, with liens, bankruptcies and judgments among the warning signs to consider. Some financial information is protected by Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations. In addition, a bad credit report does not necessarily reflect the circumstances surrounding debts or late payments. If something negative does come up, organizations must give applicants a copy of the credit report as well as a reasonable chance to explain their poor review.
*Resume inconsistencies: Background checks should be able to catch discrepancies in a candidate's resume. Falsified or embellished education claims, job titles and dates of employment are indications an applicant may have something to hide in their employment background.
Red flag or not, recruiters should inquire with candidates directly about any inconsistency they find between the application and a background screening.
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