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Contemplating “Do it Yourself” Background checks? Know the Risks.

Background Screening

Building your team of excellent employees¬†means sifting through lots of candidates. So many, in fact, that you may be overwhelmed with the number of interviews and resumes piling up in your office. While you have to do a lot of the heavy lifting yourself, there are times when you can — and should — call in reinforcements. Conducting pre-employment background checks and drug testing for employment are perfect examples.

A do-it-yourself background check leaves too much room for error. You may also fail to look for all relevant information. Instead, background checks are best left to the pros.

Benefits of Background Checks

You can tell a lot about a candidate in a face-to-face interview, but you won’t learn everything from your sit-down. There are a number of clearly identifiable benefits to conducting a professional background check, including:

  • Verification of reported information. Doing a background check is the best way to cross-check the information the candidate reported on his resume. College degrees, cities of residence and other important factors can be uncovered via background check. When everything checks out, you build trust with your new hire. If information appears to be in conflict, you can check in with the candidate to resolve the issue before extending an offer.
  • Protection against negligent hiring. If you don’t conduct a background check and your employee is later the cause of litigation, you may be in trouble. This is called negligent hiring. In other words, your business will be held accountable for information you could (and should) have uncovered in a background check. This might include a bad driving record or history of mishandling money.

Risks of Conducting Your Own Background Checks

Not only do background checks have a legitimate purpose during the hiring process, but professional background checks are crucial. If you go the DIY route, you risk making critical mistakes, such as:

  • Conducting narrow background checks. Some data can only be obtained by a legally licensed firm. Conducting a background check as a member of HR or management may not be broad enough. You could miss critical information because you didn’t know where to look or did not have access to the right database.
  • Not remaining compliant. All background checks must be legally sound. For instance, you must follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when running a credit report on your applicants. It’s too easy to break protocol when you’re running a check on your own, so when you’re using sensitive information such as a Social Security number, let background screening companies handle it.
  • Misinterpreting complicated verbiage. When it comes to certain reports, particularly legal documents, you may not understand the full context or language. Companies such as Origin have professional adjudicators, who are trained to sort through the most common types of reports and know how to interpret and pass along relevant details.

Trust a third-party administrator such as Origin to conduct your professional background check. Not only can we connect you with the best drug testing companies, but we offer a graded background check that highlights the facts most important to your company. We also store your results and keep you compliant in every way. When it comes to DIY background checks: Just say no.

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