When going through the hiring process for new employees, companies typically do background checks on the candidates in an effort to find any problems that might make them unfit for the job.

But how effective are background checks really at finding out information and enabling employers to spot people whom they should not hire?

There are different kinds of background checks that tell you different things about a person’s history. Background checks usually depend on information that is stored in large databases. These checks include things like criminal records, driving records, credit history, and even things like academic history and citizenship. Checks like these are considered to be legal if the information is job related.

Background reviews such as a candidate’s credit history and driving record are not really very good at finding someone who is unfit for the job. They are most appropriate for jobs that are related to what these tests detail —  that is, jobs that involve driving or handling money.

The most common type of check is a criminal history check. While it is definitely important to know if the applicant has a criminal record, especially one he or she has not told you about, these kinds of checks really don’t give you a complete picture of the person either. They won’t routinely help you make the best decision.

Moreover, subjecting applicants to credit history and criminal background checks might be upsetting to the job candidate and doesn’t help the company’s reputation among job seekers. And these kinds of checks often are not used to screen applicants – they are most usually done after a job offer has already been made.

According to recruiting specialist Charles Handler, one of the most effective ways of ferreting out people who may be unfit is through the use of integrity tests. These are questionnaires that ask the person directly or indirectly about their honesty, inquiring whether they have stolen anything, whether they have a problem with absenteeism, whether they have a drug problem, and other issues.

There is plenty of evidence showing the effectiveness of these types of tests, Handler says. And, although people are not exactly thrilled about answering such questions, they are less intrusive than the other kinds of background checks.

If you’re tired of performing the – let’s face it – chore of conducting background checks on candidates, foist that task onto the experts at Winston Resources. If your business is in or near New York City, we can perform drug testing, background screenings, even provide skills assessments as needed. Contact us today.

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