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Accurate Background Screening and Why It's Essential for Your Business

Accurate Background Screening and Why It's Essential for Your Business

Background screenings are far more common than many people realize. In fact, roughly 3 out of 4 employers run a background check before hiring a new employee.

Hiring an employee or renting to a new tenant is like making an investment in the future. If the person pans out, your business will continue to thrive and grow. However, a failed employee or tenant resets the clock and holds your company back.

This is why screening your applicants is so important. In most cases, you want to avoid bringing in people that have made questionable life choices in the past.

Read on to learn why background screenings are essential for your business. Explore topics such as identity verification and the top reasons for conducting a pre-employment background check.

Why Are Background Checks Important?

An interview and resume do not provide enough information to make a hiring decision. While qualifications are important, they provide a rosy look at the applicant’s work history. Interviews are also valuable, but we all know a person that says all the right things.

Background checks provide an objective look at the person’s past. Do they conduct themselves well outside of the office? Do they meet the company’s moral and ethical standards?

Many companies use background checks to narrow down applicants for an open position. For example, the selection panel may remove applicants from consideration who have a criminal record.

Consider a job that requires employees to handle large sums of money. Hiring managers may reject applicants that have a history of poor financial management.

The goal of background checks is to hire people that you can trust and count on for the long run. When an employee does not work out, the business is forced to spend additional money on re-hiring and re-training a replacement.

This is why it is so important to get it right the first time. A comprehensive background check process increases your odds of filtering out poor candidates.

What Does a Background Screening Look For?

Background checks take an extensive look at an applicant’s past. Some people have the misperception that background checks only look at an applicant’s criminal history.

The truth is that background checks cover a wide range of topics from finances to driving records. Continue reading to see what an extensive background check may uncover:


An official record is taken whenever a person or entity files for bankruptcy. There are federal bankruptcy courts in all 50 states and U.S. territories like Puerto Rico or Guam.

Before hiring a person, many companies want insight into an applicant’s financial history. While filing for bankruptcy may not rule a person out, it is something to inquire about in an interview.

This is especially true when considering tenants for a home or condo rental. It may be an indication that the applicant will struggle to make monthly payments.

Checking bankruptcy records can also help your business when considering partners or business relationships. You may want to avoid entering business agreements with an individual or company with a recent bankruptcy.

Liens, Judgments, and Evictions

In addition to bankruptcies, there are other civil records that are important to decision-makers. Evictions are one good example. You definitely want to search an eviction database before renting to someone.

Liens and judgments are other civil records that provide value to decision-makers. A lien is a legal claim placed against the property. When a loan is defaulted on, a lien is filed against the property to help creditors collect what is owed to them.

Rental companies certainly want to know about liens. This means that the applicant defaulted on their car, boat, or mortgage payments.

A civil judgment means that the applicant was taken to court and lost. Debt collectors or creditors often take individuals or businesses to court when they do not pay.

When they win, the judge provides stronger tools to force payment from the defendant. These tools include wage or salary garnishment.

Clearly, losing a civil judgment is not the best sign for a rental applicant. It also presents a risk for employers. Employers may be concerned that the applicant is at a greater risk to steal or embezzle money from the business.

Motor Vehicle Records

There are more than 3.5 million Americans with commercial driver’s licenses. Many jobs require employees to drive limousines, school buses, and 18-wheel big rigs.

For applicants to these types of jobs, it is essential to check their driving records. Here, you can verify that their license was never suspended. Also, decision-makers can ensure they are safe drivers.

Even white-collar jobs check motor vehicle records. It gives a little more insight into how the applicant behaves and conducts themselves outside the office.

Employment and Education Verification

It is common for employers to receive perfect resumes for a position. However, they are just words on paper if the information is not verified.

It is critical to make sure that job application and resume information is accurate. Did the applicant attend the school they claimed to? Did they really carry such an important position at their former employer?

An applicant is not a good fit if they lie or embellish their credentials. A background check gives you the tools to uncover this deceit.

Identity Verification

Is the applicant who they say they are? Conducting identity verification is the only way to find out.

Identity theft cases doubled from 2019 to 2020. There were nearly 1.4 million cases of identity theft this past year.

The last thing you want is to hire and pay a person who is engaging in illegal identity crimes. An extensive background check with identity verification is the best way to prevent this from occurring.

A Recap of Why Background Checks Are Essential

Background checks are objective and do not distort or manipulate the facts. They provide an unedited look into the applicant’s past without the buzz words or glossy finish.

With a comprehensive background check, you can uncover financial issues or driving infractions that disqualify an applicant. This is essential to hiring the best candidates and reducing training costs.

If you are interested in conducting background screenings on your job applicants, contact us today to find out what we offer.