Top 3 Must-Knows for Background Screening

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    A thorough examination of the topic of Human Resources (HR) would include multiple topics. Within those, one would find recruiting. Recruiting is an important topic to everyone in an organization, as the consequences of a bad hire can have a wide organizational effect. In an effort to mitigate the risk of a bad hiring decision, companies can use multiple tools in their hiring strategy. One of those, background screening, can help identify if your candidate is included in the 56% of applicants who provide false information on their resume. Background screening will also help protect your company from multiple risks including negligent hiring, theft, and workplace violence. But are all background screens created equal?

    During the past two years, I have developed a much stronger understanding of this tool. Below is a list of the top three things I wish I understood about background screening before I worked for the industry-leading provider of this service.

    1. Not all criminal background checks are created equal. There is no one source for criminal information that will provide you with every record available. However, there are certainly ways to ensure that you are getting the most accurate, up-to-date, and thorough information available. Jason Morris, President and Chief Operations Officer of EmployeeScreenIQ, identifies the following shortcuts in his white paper, Best Practices in Employment Screening: using national or statewide searches in lieu of county research, or checking only the current county of residence. These types of searches may save you a few dollars on your background screen; however, the price of not running the more thorough search could be higher than all your other recruiting expenses combined. According to Morris, “An effective criminal program should always include physical research in each county in which the subject has lived, worked, or gone to school over the past seven to ten years.”

    2. Fifty-six percent of applicants falsify information on their application or resume. While most experienced recruiters understand that applicants may inflate their resumes, EmployeeScreenIQ finds discrepancies in resumes on important hiring factors. Those include dates of employment, education, experience, salary, and criminal history.

    3. There is an increase in the use of diploma mills. Nick Fishman of EmployeeScreenIQ defines a diploma mill as “an organization that sells academic degrees and diplomas with substandard or no academic study and without recognition by legitimate educational accrediting bodies. The buyer can then claim to hold the purchased degree and the organization makes a profit. Many of these fraudulent organizations claim accreditation by fake or unaccredited licensing bodies, creating another layer of supposed authenticity.” The number of these organizations has increased in recent years. Perhaps due to the increase in unemployment. Regardless of the reason, hiring someone with fake credentials can be very costly.

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    Sheri Mazurek is a training and human resource professional with over 16 years of management experience, and is skilled in all areas of employee management and human resource functions, with a specialty in learning and development. She is currently employed as the Human Resource Manager at EmployeeScreenIQ, a global leader in pre-employment background screening.