Background screening – how to verify candidates in five easy steps

May 14 2021

Background screening – how to verify candidates in five easy steps

The recruitment process always carries the risk of employing a person who doesn’t have adequate skills, whose education is not as high as they declared, or who just can’t work in a team. Background screening can help you avoid such mistakes. If you conduct recruitment process yourself, you can probably use a few tips on how to verify candidates.

Why should you check?

Background screening, also known as background checking, is a way to acquire all available relevant information about the candidate, in an ethical and legal way. The end goal of this process is to determine if a candidate presented you with true and accurate information about themselves, and if their skills and previous achievements justify employing them in your company.

– The HR specialists very often use offices for rent when they conduct the background screening. They do that because these processes are confidential, and for their entire duration must be conducted outside the company. Sometimes businesses located far away from Warsaw look for a place to conduct interviews with candidates in a comfortable office in the center of the capital city. Besides, the interest of headhunters is often focused on high end specialists, who often work at office buildings in the center,
and value discretion when approached – Marta Kamińska from Solutions.Rent explains.

You can also be interested in:What questions should you ask a candidate during an interview? 

Why should you check your candidates? The “Falsehoods in Resumes in the Polish Job Market” study conducted by IBBC Group showed that 81% of recruiters have found falsehoods in candidates’ resumes. However, you must follow a few rules:

Make sure you follow the law

In the article 221 of the Labor Code, you can check what information you may legally request from the candidate. They are: name and surname, names of parents, date of birth, residence, education and employment history. For certain positions you can also require the clean criminal record confirmation. 

Obtain the consent for references verification 

To obtain any information other than those set forth in the Labor Code, as well as for reference verification, you need a consent for personal data processing, because it is required by General DataProtection Regulation (GDPR). In the case of the information concerning health, the employer cannot include them in their resources without obtaining a separate consent for processing such personal information. However, it is impossible to prevent the employer from taking such information into consideration when deciding whether to employ a person or not.  

Do not play a spy

If a candidate did not provide any references, getting in touch with their former employers or co-workers in order to obtain information is highly unethical and may be a basis for a legal action. Not only can you be held responsible for violating GDPR, but you can also be subject to a legal action for infringement of their personal rights. It is also noteworthy that the reliability of the information obtained in such a manner may be questionable.

Examine a “digital footprint”

Social media allow recruiters to do quite a lot, however the background screening should be limited to professional image social media sites, such as LinkedIn, GoldenLine
or Xing. They can be used to confirm the level of education of a candidate, read opinions of their co-workers from previous companies, and asses the value of their own publications, or the publications they would recommend. 

Read also: Top seven recruitment tools

Be cautious about the search results

Obviously, in order to check if a candidate doesn’t publish content online that would make them look bad, you would use a search engine. Remember, however, that everyone’s digital image is a result of many factors such as search algorithms, the entire chain of online interactions between users, and sometimes even a deliberate action by a third party. Unfortunate public appearance form a dozen years ago or so should not disqualify an experienced specialist, even if it is still visible at the top of organic search results list. 

The above rules are an “ethics health and safety” of sorts. When you plan background screening it is always a good idea to remember to ask for consent for data processing, and to keep in mind that such a consent should come in a form of a separate statement,
and the refusal to give it must not be a reason for being excluded from the recruitment process.

Are you looking for an office to rent for the purposes of a recruitment process? Click here and check out Solutions.Rent offices.

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