The hiring process is pretty standard across a majority of the industries with employers looking to hire individuals that will benefit the organization in a positive way. Once the applicant has successfully made it past the initial submission and interview there is a series of checks that need to be run before making a final decision. Background checks include education, certification, past employment and references each of which is an important step in the screening process in order to weed out any candidates that have outstanding issues that could negatively impact the company.

There is no replacement for good judgement and industry expertise but the following points can help identify any red flags that need to be thoroughly reviewed before the decision:

Applicant’s Criminal History:

Past criminal history is not necessarily an immediate disqualifier for a position but if the employee lied about it on their application or in the interview then the applicant needs to be immediately rejected. While this is one of the main reasons to perform a background check it also looks for patterns of criminal behavior and the type of crime that is listed on the record.

For example, repeat offenders are more likely to continue getting into trouble so the applicant should be passed over and it is not good business practice to hire someone for a financial position if they have been convicted of crimes involving money. Companies need to be able to trust the employee they hire for a position and their past behavior can help establish that from the beginning or prevent them from getting in the door.

Negative Feedback from Past Jobs:

The discussion about past jobs and former employers can be a challenging topic because there may have been issues in the relationship that the employee is worried about sharing because of how it will be perceived. When you ask questions ensure that they cover a wide range of positions so that the employee has a chance to give an historical account.

If they refuse to talk about past employers or continually provide negative accounts that are overly critical then this could be a red flag that they do not get along well with others in management or on the floor. Organizations operate on teamwork and mutual trust so a single negative employee can disrupt this and create havoc and chaos in the workplace. It is important to use good judgement in these cases as every industry works slightly different due to their environment and one bad case does not indicate a pattern.

Outright Falsifications or Embellishments on a Resume:

The resume is the first impression that the employer receives about an applicant so if it is inaccurate or has been embellished then the foundation of trust has already been broken. Also, if the individual is willing to lie on paper about their skills, experience or certifications/degrees then more than likely he/she is willing to be dishonest in other areas.

Companies cannot hire someone if they don’t know what their true qualifications are so resume issues should be grounds for rejection. You need to be able to trust that when you hire someone they are capable of doing the job and being trustworthy and when that is broken from the outset then there is no place to build from.

History of Credit Issues:

A credit history is generally performed as a matter of routine but is more important for consideration when the individual will be working with money as part of their position. Many individuals have bad credit but make excellent employees because their job does not entail managing money which is where their issue lies.

For those in the banking and financing industries or when hiring for an accounting or other financial related position, this information is vital and speaks to the applicant’s ability to perform the duties. Another reason is to prevent any temptation for the employee to mishandle funds or perform illegal acts in order to resolve their personal financial problems such as in the case of bribery or embezzlement.