Your employees are an elemental part of your organization and so, it is vital to know them well before they are hired. Knowing their education qualification, employment history, criminal record, and other past activities is crucial data that every company should acquire before recruiting someone. This process of obtaining such vital pieces of information is called background screening or background check, one of the most important HR processes for every organization. 

What is background screening?
Background screening or background check is a process that a company or a recruiter follows to obtain critical information about their potential hires. From knowing their educational qualification to ascertaining whether they are qualified for the role to digging out criminal records, character references, social media content, past employment details, and other activities, background checks are extremely important. It is a way of knowing that whatever data has been provided by the applicant is correct, authenticated, and verified. Background checks also validate that the candidates are what they claim to be and there is no undesired background to them that the company doesn’t want to associate itself with. 

Why do background screening?
Research has shown that 46 percent of resumes submitted by the applicants have discrepancies. It has also been observed that wrongly hired candidates can be a costly affair for a company. So, to avoid these circumstances, organizations go through the trouble of employment background checks so that the person they hire fits right into their criterion. Although this can be a time-consuming task, it is worth it since hiring the wrong employee after going through an exhaustive recruitment process can be a waste of time, effort, and money. 

Types of background screening/checks

There are different types of background checks that companies do to obtain the correct information for their employees.
 Here are the most important ones: 

1. Employment background check
A company does an employment background check to find out various details about a person. It could be about their past records, criminal history, educational qualification, health history (if they have any drug-related issues), work and credit history, motor vehicle reports, use of social media, employment background, etc. Typically, this kind of background screening is done during the recruitment but can also be done during their job tenure, especially drug testing and criminal record updates. 

2. Criminal background check
This kind of background check ensures that the candidate doesn’t pose any threat to the company. It includes information about illegal activity, sexual offences, violence, fraud, embezzlement, or felony. Several sectors like the healthcare industries strictly emphasize such checks as the nature of their work demands a clean image. 

3. Educational background check
This is yet another important aspect of background screening to ensure that the candidates have the degree they claim to have from a recognized university. Such checks are done through the Ministry of Education or Council for Private Education to ensure authentic education details. It also clarifies that the candidate is qualified enough for the said position. 

4. International background checks
Whenever a company hires someone who is a foreign national or has lived in a foreign country for a certain number of years, they prefer doing an international background check. It includes checking their criminal, educational and health background. Different countries have different criteria for these checks depending on their federal laws. 

Apart from the screenings mentioned above, organizations also prefer
Passport check: Checks the authenticity of a person by verifying machine-readable passport
Professional license check: Checks the license number, date of issuance, current status, expiration, and disciplinary actions ever taken
Civil records: Checks if there are any civil cases against the candidate
Bankruptcy records: Checks if there are any bankruptcy cases against the candidate, if found then the details of the case are obtained
Credit background check: This check is done to find out the payment history, civil judgments, tax liens, unpaid bills and collections, and recent credit inquiries 
Fingerprint checks: This check is often used for employees applying for government positions
Visa and passport verification: This check is essential for foreign nationals to ascertain that their visa and passports are valid and that they haven’t illegally entered the country

To keep your employees happy and your company’s work streamlined, it is important to have your HR process in place. Your job will remain difficult unless the most important HR processes are suitably integrated and upgraded to perform efficiently. And this is what Carbonate provides – a complete HR applications solutions package that not just streamlines the most mundane tasks but also creates a seamless work process for all your HR-related functions.