Background checks are a crucial component of a recruiter's toolkit. They help HR managers determine candidates that would add the most value to their organisations. However, determining the integrity of a candidate's application can be daunting. Why? Because this entails verifying their criminal record, education history, prior employment, and lots more.
Thankfully, technology has made this process more accessible in the last decade. The proliferation of background-checking HR Software managers are just a click away from verifying any candidate's application information. Various background checking software is in the market, ranging from Australian National Character Check's (ANCC's) online platform to InterCheck.
This software offers various functionalities. And in this article, we explore some of the background-checking options available on this software.
Criminal history check
In today's world, background checks, often called criminal history checks, capture the importance of criminal history checks. Criminal history checks examine Australia's national police database and extract an individual's criminal offences. This may include criminal convictions, admission of guilt, serious traffic offences, sex-related offences, and more.
By conducting a national police check from ANCC, employers can assess the risk of hiring any candidate. Consequently, they can use this information to make hiring decisions that will ensure workplace safety and reduce the risk of fraud.
When applying for a job, employers typically ask for a reference (either at the start or later stages of the application). Speaking to a referee enables an employer to get an unbiased opinion of your behaviour and work attitude. Hiring managers can also ask your referee about past performances and clarify other claims made in the application or during the interview.
Many background checking software makes it easy for HR managers to manage communications with references.
For finance-related roles, employers are usually keen to perform bankruptcy checks for several reasons. First, ensure that the hired candidate knows how to earn money adequately. An applicant that's bankrupt or on the brink of bankruptcy may face severe financial pressures. Hence, they may be seriously tempted to steal from the employer. With a bankruptcy check, employers can gauge the financial intelligence of applicants in their personal lives before hiring them for a position.
Credit background check
A credit check is less stringent than a bankruptcy check. It gives a holistic view of a candidate's credit history. Experian, Illion, and Equifax are Australia's three main credit reporting bodies, and they produce a report of a person's credit history once a year. In many scenarios, it is illegal for employers to make hiring decisions based on an applicant's credit score, especially when it is irrelevant to the role in question. Even if it is relevant, the employer must obtain express permission from the test subject. Employers use credit history checks to determine if an applicant is fiscally responsible, ensuring that only well-vetted applications can deal with money.
Social Media Check
Social media now plays a crucial role in the average person's life. That's why the average person spends about 2.5 hours on social media daily! Hence, employers want employees who will be great ambassadors of the organisations physically and online.
To give an example: Think about the ramifications if the employee of an organisation comments racial slurs online, and it goes viral. That will reflect negatively on the organisation and may draw negative press. Many employers now incrporate social media checks into the background check process. This involves scouring through sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and more. Interestingly, some background-checking software makes social media checking seamless for employers.
With over 7.7 billion people on the planet, identity theft is commonplace. Some offenders use the identity of others to apply for jobs and claim others' benefits. Hence, one of the main jobs of HR managers is to establish the true identity of candidates.
Background checking software harnesses several tools to confirm an applicant's identity, including name, date of birth, Medicare, and more. What's more, other forms of background checks serve to solidify an applicant's identity.
Over 50% of Australians have lied on their resume in some way. Recruiter surveys reveal that 85% of candidates exaggerate their skills and competencies. Applicants commonly lie about their previous experience to make them more suited for the current role. Some even go as far as to cook up past experiences.
About 10% of applications lie about their education level in job applications. For employers, this is unacceptable for several reasons. For example, it may be a legal requirement to employ only someone with a specific education level for a particular role. Failing to do so may put the company into legal trouble.
That's why it's not sufficient for employers to ask to see the relevant documentation. Fake certificates are easy to procure, and some look very convincing. However, background-checking services contact the applicant's school to confirm that they attended that institution and obtain the claimed qualifications.
Several other kinds of checks are available through background-checking software. Examples include driving records, sex offender registry checks, and professional license and certificate confirmation, among many others. However, remember that HR managers must seek written consent from prospective employees before checking - that's the law! Once that is settled, the plethora of background-checking software makes it easy to conduct these checks.