Choosing the Right Software for Background Searches: Key Features to Consider

Noel Diem |

Background checks are essential in hiring, but many HR leaders skip them to save time. This approach causes headaches, so many employers turn to background search software. But with so many options available, how do you choose the right software for your specific needs?

Are you thinking about investing in background screening software? If you are, you know that there are quite a few things to consider. Let’s take a look:

Why perform pre-employment background checks?

Why perform pre-employment background checks? It’s a question that comes up often in the background screening process. Conducting thorough background checks on potential employees has value on many levels.

Background searches help ensure safety for everyone. By uncovering criminal records or history of violence, you can make informed decisions about who to hire. Now, this is very important in all workplaces, though it has increased importance in some. For example, anyone working with children should have thorough background checks.

Additionally, pre-employment screenings verify the accuracy of information provided by candidates. When the labor market is difficult, it is more common for people to lie on their resumes. What can you check?

  • Education credentials

  • Employment history

  • Professional licenses

  • Drug history

You may do this through reference checks, employee background checks, social media screening, and more. However, background search software makes it even easier to create talent pools.

Conducting background searches mitigates some risks, including negligent hiring claims. You prevent potential lawsuits or liability issues by demonstrating due diligence when hiring.

Performing comprehensive pre-employment screenings saves time and money in the long run. How? By avoiding costly mistakes that may arise from hiring unqualified or dishonest individuals. It can also prevent you from engaging the wrong person and needing to make another hire in a few months.

choosing right software for background searches

What things should you include in a pre-employment background search?

If you’re in HR, you know that time is short. How can you keep your speed-to-hire time low and still be effective?

Start by focusing on what’s most important:

Criminal History

Criminal history is an essential aspect to investigate as part of pre-employment screening. It is the most important one to keep yourself and your employees safe.

This screening checks for convictions or charges raising concerns about trustworthiness or performance. While people can change, we should consider that, particularly for convictions from long ago, it could sometimes be a red flag and something to consider.

Employment History

Verifying employment history ensures candidates are truthful about their previous work.

This search confirms essential details about past employment, including dates, titles, and responsibilities. People lie or provide false information about previous jobs all the time. It’s important to hire only people who can prove they fit the role.

Education Verification

Verifying educational credentials confirms a candidate’s qualifications. It also ensures they have the skills and knowledge required for the position.

Verifying education is important when considering new hires and people with experience. Just because they had a job in the field before does not mean their old employer checked their records.

Reference Checks

Reference checks provide insights into an applicant from managers and coworkers. Use these to discuss things like work ethic, soft skills, etc.

Ensure you aren’t speaking with the candidate’s mother, best friend, or neighbor.

Professional Licensing

Conducting professional license checks (if applicable) confirms if candidates hold valid credentials. This isn’t necessary in all fields, but for some, such as doctors or lawyers, it is.

Driving Record

Will your new hire be driving as part of his or her role? Assess candidates’ driving records for any violations or incidents that could pose risks. If someone isn’t driving a vehicle for your company, you may leave this one off.

These are just a few of the areas your background screening should cover. Depending on the role, location, and even time of the year, there may be other things to consider.

Key Features to Consider in Background Check Software

When purchasing background check software, make a few critical considerations before buying. It needs to come down to key features, accuracy, and scalability.

  1. Speed-to-hire: Look for software that offers advanced candidate screening capabilities. Background searches can slow down the process, but software can help.

  2. Integrate with existing tech stack: Choose software that integrates with your existing tech stack. This could include an applicant tracking system (ATS) or human resource information systems (HRIS). This will ensure smooth data transfer and eliminate manual data entry tasks.

  3. Built for scale: If your organization is growing, find software that will grow with you. Look for features like automated workflows, bulk upload options, and customizable templates. These save time and money now and will provide even more value in the future.

  4. Trusted speed and reliability: You want background screening to be fast, but don’t cut corners. Find software that helps you be fast and accurate.

  5. Powerful ecosystem: Robust background check software should integrate with:

  • Various databases

  • Criminal records sources

  • Employment verification services

  • Drug testing labs

These are just a few things to consider. Work with your hiring team and HR team to identify what matters to your organization.

Ready for Better Background Checking Software?

When performing pre-employment background checks, choosing the right software is crucial. With the myriad of available options, finding a solution that meets all your needs can be overwhelming. However, by considering key features and functionalities, you can make an informed decision and streamline your hiring process.

To learn more about our background search software, please get in touch with us today.

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