6 Mistakes Employers Make when Performing Background Checks

Businessby Ariana Smith06 June 2018

Employer Mistakes

If you’re in the process of hiring or promoting an employee, then chances are you’ll have to perform a background check. Although someone may seem like a good candidate for a position, you never really know what’s in a person’s past unless you conduct a thorough investigation. A background check will provide you with an extra layer of security and can prevent problems down the road. However, many employers end up committing crucial mistakes when conducting background checks that could come back to haunt them down the road. Here are a few of them.

Here are 6 Mistakes Employers Make when Performing Background Checks:

1. Not Having a Background Check Policy:

Running background checks on only certain employees could actually be a discrimination issue. This information can get out and cause your business to face a lawsuit. Make sure that you have a policy in place to run background check service to avoid any problems down the road. Having a clear in writing will protect your business.

2. Only Checking a National Criminal History Database:

Although national criminal history databases can provide employers with some useful information, they’re not going to be adequate for a thorough check. It may not be a bad idea to use multiple sources when it comes to verifying an employee’s background. For example, you can go on a site like Free Records Registry in addition to other databases. Using multiple sources will allow you to get a more complete profile on an employee and catch some omissions a particular database could’ve made.

3. Using Social Media as a Sole Information Sources:

Employers often use social media to find out more personal information about employees. While it may be tempting to look at these accounts, you may actually be more discriminatory against certain potential employees by doing so. This isn’t a bad process per se, but be sure that you don’t use this as your only impression of a job candidate.

4. Not Verifying Education:

People can easily lie about their education and may assume that an employer won’t check. You should always contact the person’s school and ensure that they graduated and that their major is listed correctly.

5. Skipping Background Checks on Vendors, Temp Employees, and Contractors:

These positions are often overlooked when it comes to background checks, but you could face increased liability by not paying attention to this detail. Even temporary employees need to go through a thorough verification process if they are going to work for your company. Make sure that you have this in your policy and verify any employee information before they start working for the company.

6. Forgetting to Obtain Permission:

You actually do have to obtain a person’s permission in order to run a background check on them. Performing a background check without the prospective employee’s permission could open you to legal action. Make sure that you have them sign a document giving informed consent and that they understand a background check will occur.


When hiring employees, performing a background check is the only way to verify the employee’s credentials. These common mistakes could cause issues for any company and they can easily be avoided with some basic policies and procedures in place.

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Ariana Smith

Ariana Smith is a freelancer content writer and enthusiastic blogger. She is a regular contributor at The Daily Notes.

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