From what we’ve seen, almost all of our customers have been there: halfway through the interview process and already cautiously optimistic that they may have found their purple squirrel.
Then they get to the “Pre-Employment Background Check” step.
It’s always tempting to cut corners, especially with the continued pressure from management to cut costs. But DIY screening really isn’t something you should waste your time with. Unless you have a highly skilled HR team already on the payroll, chances are it will cost more in wages to staff members trying to do the screening than it would to hire the pros. Let’s dig a little deeper into why.
A few common pitfalls we see when untrained staff members attempt to navigate DIY screening: lack of accuracy, no legal certifications, and incompleteness of the results.
Lack of Accuracy
At the time of posting, there were 382 people named Jack Smith in Florida alone. How much time will it take to dig through all of those people to find the Jack Smith that is nearly through your interview process?
Alternative names (preferred vs. given), different spellings, name changes and duplicate people (like our friend Jack from Florida) are a few of the problems untrained staff will be up against.
No Legal Certifications
According to Wikipedia, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is “a U.S. Federal Government legislation enacted to promote the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in the files of consumer reporting agencies.”
Any professional background screening service worth their salt will be in full compliance with the FCRA.
As an aside: Accurate Information Systems is not only in full compliance with the FCRA, but also with state consumer reporting laws and International data protection and privacy regulations.
Can you guarantee that your staff will know the in’s and out’s of the FCRA? How much time will they spend trying to sort through the 100+ pages of the act?
Incompleteness of the results
Still not convinced that you need a professional? Up until this point, we have assumed that the only extra cost versus hiring the pros, is in the wages of the staff members doing the screening.
We’re assuming that, while it took WAY longer than expected, (because it always does with DIY screening), it’s done, and you have hired the perfect candidate.
But what if you missed something? And your purple squirrel ends up being a bad hire. It happens all the time. According to a CareerBuilder survey of 6,000 hiring managers and HR professionals worldwide, more than half of employers in each of the ten largest world economies said that a bad hire has negatively impacted their business and 27 percent of employers in the U.S. who reported a bad hire said that a single bad hire costs more than $50,000. Don’t let your company fall into that statistic.
What you need to know
If you’re serious about finding and retaining top talent you need to be sure about who you’re hiring. Pre-employment background checks are a must and trying to do it yourself may cost more in the long run.
It’s worth the investment to use a professional background screening company that can show you everything from a federal criminal search and personal/professional reference interviews to education and employment history searches.
If you go with the pros you’re more likely to finally find your purple squirrel, or at least know when you haven’t, before you offer them the job.