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Multi-Dimensional Candidates Need a Different Kind of Background Check

By Alfred A. Firato |
March 01, 2012

Hiring quality employees has never been an easy undertaking. Once a new position’s responsibilities have been defined, the quest to fill that role begins. The practices of the last century belong where they are; in the past. The business environment of the 21st Century is vastly different and visionary businesspeople recognize their need to adapt. As the USA slowly emerges from the current malaise, the future will be bright once again as this current trend will eventually change. Like the legendary Phoenix, the American economy is rising from the ashes of the recent economic chaos. Now is the time to prepare to be at the forefront of the inevitable recovery that will occur.

 The overall objective is to first institute solid hiring practices to locate and employ the most qualified candidates. Utilizing the new tools available to locate and evaluate their multi-dimensional qualities before they’re on the payroll vastly improves the process. It is so much easier not to hire someone than it is to fire them.

 Understanding people is a complicated process that becomes critical when selecting new employees. Each applicant has had life experiences that shape and mold their personalities, which will eventually be expected to become part of the company culture as well as their ability to perform their job responsibilities. Technology can now support Human Resources’ need to place the right person in the right job the first time.

Talent Acquisition

There are vast multitudes of people looking for work so objective #1 is to locate the most qualified candidates cost-effectively. The Internet has produced numerous useful job boards that bring the candidates to the recruiter. Posting a job on these sites can be costly, and often result in thousands of replies to a single position. A digital format to parse these resumes is a necessity, often referred to as an Applicant Tracking System. The ATS format will electronically assist to narrow the field of applicants to only the most qualified. From here the interview(s) are conducted with finalists. If hiring remotely the interview process can now be conducted on the Internet.

Criminal Background Checks

The HR professional is being asked to complete the life-puzzle of the applicant with only the pieces supplied by the candidate. In the information age this is simply not acceptable when a simple solution exists. The criminal background screening process will identify the applicant and reveal any past convictions that could put the business at a liability risk. While a criminal conviction should not result in an automatic denial of employment, an employer can now make an informed hiring decision. Academic qualifications and performance with previous employers can now quickly be verified to prevent fraud.

Drug Screening

An employee trapped in drug addiction can never be expected to give the employer their best effort. Their objectives lie elsewhere, not in the quality of their work-product. There is absolutely no up-side to hiring an illicit drug abuser, so logic dictates to not allow them into your business. The only way to block their entry is with a pre-employment drug testing program that is properly administered, not only for applicants but continuing into employment should issues of demonstrated reasonable suspicion occur with the workforce.

Social Media Background Check

 The phenomenon of social media can now enable an employer to better understand the nature of their applicants. Previously, if an employer conducted their own Internet social media search they could be practicing unlawful hiring practices, i.e. discrimination due to age, culture or find themselves in violation any number of laws. New compliant Social Media Background Checking is available that does not violate hiring laws and has been approved by the Federal Trade Commission for employment suitability.

Attitudinal Assessments

 In the frenzy of interviews a candidate may not accurately represent their attitude towards their role as employee or their capabilities. How they feel about witnessed drug use and theft while on the job can reveal character traits. Opposition to diversity and tendencies towards harassment will become costly. Conversely, a fast-paced individual should never be put in a slow-paced job, or in the opposite situation, with any reasonable expectation of success. Re-hiring and training for the same position is costly and in-effective. Using an Attitudinal Assessment can scientifically determine a good job-fit.

Legal Right-to-Work

While enforcement of federal right-to-work laws has been sporadic in the past that has changed as well. Now employers and HR managers are individually being criminally charged as an organized criminal entity when they knowingly hired undocumented workers. The only solution is compliance with the law by using the E-Verify I-9 Advantage program upon hiring. The completely digital format enables an employer to quickly be assured that their employees have the legal status to work in the USA.

Hiring quality people is an investment for any size business. Just as the business environment continues to evolve and change so must the decision-makers. Choices have to be made to either follow or lead when the trend inevitably changes, as it always does.

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