Job Applicants – Should You Run a Background Check?

According to a recent survey, a whopping 78% of job seekers admitted to either lying or being willing to lie on job applications. While this number is surprising, it really shouldn’t be. In most cases, candidates categorize their lies as the “little white” variety. But what about when that lie ends up costing your business a large sum of money, or worse, its reputation? A thorough background check can save many headaches, most likely preventing them before they begin. At Barefoot Professional Investigations, we understand the intricacies involved with thoroughly vetting potential employees and can help you understand several areas of concern. 

Famous Fibs on Applications

There are a few common falsehoods that applicants are likely to include on applications. Among them are:

  • Dates of prior employment, in hopes of removing questionable gaps in work history
  • Education and other qualifications 
  • Prior wages, as a way to demand equal or higher pay
  • Job titles and exaggerated responsibilities
  • Criminal histories
  • Fabricated businesses they claimed to have owned.
  • Falsified references

Unfortunately, in some cases, false documentation or fraudulent references can be created, which can appear very convincing. Who has time to follow up on every claim? In the Charlotte area alone, we’ve seen a big spike in population growth, increasing over 20% in the last decade, creating increased competition in the workforce. Along with more job candidates comes multiple references to check and many other details that should be followed. This necessary diligence costs time and money that most businesses don’t have, yet it’s an area where shortcuts can cost you in the long run. 

Thinking Through Repercussions

What’s on the line with new hires depends significantly on the perspective responsibilities of each applicant. For instance, if the job requires an accounting role with access to bank accounts and funds, there’s absolutely no room for even the slightest tendency towards dishonesty. When it comes to checking up on the qualifications of applicants, it can be easy to overlook their claims of training and experience. Imagine the repercussions if a business puts an irresponsible person in charge of some of their most important clients. The result could be disastrous. 

Liability also comes into play, particularly regarding criminal history. When a business hires someone who wasn’t honest about their past, they are unable to make an informed decision about their trustworthiness. A background check gets everything out in the open, so precautions can be taken to hire and integrate potential employees. These days this is seen as a reasonable expectation of companies to thoroughly background check their employees, protecting your business as well as your customers. 

There is also the applicant’s digital image to consider. When a company hires a new employee, that employee becomes one of the faces of the company. It’s worthwhile to check into their social history and investigate the overall image they will be projecting. It takes more than a simple Google search to view a candidate’s digital footprint, and a private investigator firm that specializes in background checks knows how it’s done. 

More Than a Credit Check

In contrast to a credit check, which can give only limited information about specific areas of a future hire’s finances, a thorough and personalized background check can provide a much more comprehensive feel for what the applicant brings to the table as a whole. A background check by experts can alert you to areas of potential concern long before those red flags become noticeable or troublesome. 

Leave it to Us

Using professional investigators dedicated to ethically researching each relevant claim can provide peace of mind and save loads of time. Private investigators use proven techniques to ensure that you know digital profiles, data on prior judgments and property liens, and many other industry-specific criteria that you may be concerned about. Barefoot Professional Investigations has been a trusted resource in the Charlotte area for over 30 years. Learn more about our background check services here.

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