Choosing the Right Software for Background Checks: Key Features to Consider
Background checks are essential in the hiring process, but many HR leaders will skip them to save time. This has caused some headaches, so many employers are turning to software solutions that streamline and simplify the background check process. 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 hiring process. The truth is, conducting thorough background checks on potential employees is crucial for several important reasons.
First and foremost, background checks help ensure your workplace’s and existing staff’s safety. By uncovering any criminal records or history of violence, you can make informed decisions about who to bring into your organization. Now, this is very important in all workplaces, though it has increased importance in some. For example, anyone working with children, the elderly, or sensitive information should have the most thorough background screening.
Additionally, pre-employment screenings help verify the accuracy of information provided by candidates during the application process. When the labor market is difficult, it is more common for people to lie on their resumes. What can you check? Anything from education credentials, employment history, professional licenses, and certifications to references, drug history, and driving records. You may do this through reference checks, employee background checks, social media screening, and more. However, background check software makes it even easier.
Conducting background checks helps mitigate some of the risks associated with negligent hiring claims brought against your organization by former and current employees. You can proactively prevent potential lawsuits or liability issues by demonstrating due diligence in assessing candidates’ backgrounds before making hiring decisions.
Performing comprehensive pre-employment screenings can save time and money in the long run 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 just a few months or having that person ghost you.
What things to cover in a pre-employment background check?
If you’re in HR, you know that time is short. How can you be expected to keep your speed-to-hire time low and still do your job effectively?
Start by focusing on what’s most important:
First and foremost, 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 involves checking for past convictions or pending charges that may raise concerns about an individual’s trustworthiness or ability to perform the job effectively. While people can change and we should consider that, particularly for convictions from long ago, it could sometimes be a red flag and something to consider.
Verifying employment history is crucial to ensure that candidates accurately represent their previous work experience and can fulfill the duties of their role.
This background screening includes confirming essential details about their past employment, including dates, job titles, and responsibilities. People can easily lie or provide false information about previous jobs – sometimes, they may not even know how to do the job!
Verifying educational credentials helps validate a candidate’s qualifications and ensures they possess the skills and knowledge required for the position.
Verifying education is important when considering new hires as well as people with experience. Just because they had a job previously in the field does not mean their old employer checked their records.
Reference checks provide valuable insights into an applicant’s character and performance from individuals who have previously worked with them. Speaking directly with former supervisors or colleagues can help assess their interpersonal skills and work ethic.
Ensure you aren’t just speaking with the candidate’s mother, best friend, or neighbor.
Additionally, conducting professional license checks (if applicable) can confirm whether candidates hold valid licenses required for certain positions, such as doctors or lawyers.
Will your new hire be driving as part of his or her role? It is essential to assess candidates’ driving records for any violations or incidents that could pose risks while operating company vehicles.
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 for your business, you must make a few critical considerations before buying. It needs to come down to key features, accuracy, and scalability.
- Speed-to-hire: Look for software that offers advanced candidate screening capabilities so you can move your way through the hiring process
- Integrate with existing tech stack: Choose software that integrates seamlessly with your existing tech stack, including your applicant tracking systems (ATS) or human resource information systems (HRIS). This will ensure smooth data transfer and eliminate manual data entry tasks.
- 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 to save time and increase productivity.
- Trusted speed and reliability: You want your background screening to be fast, but you don’t want to cut corners. Find software that helps you be fast and accurate.
- Powerful ecosystem: A robust background check software should offer integrations with various databases, criminal records sources, employment verification services, drug testing labs, etc., providing comprehensive coverage in one platform.
These are just a few things to consider. Work with your hiring team and HR team to identify what really 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.