Every employer must give a notice to each job applicant when they are planning on conducting background checks. It should never come as a surprise to those applying that their professional history will be accessed for vetting, and the employer should do everything in their power to make the process smooth, and simple.
The first step in providing candidates with a much more enjoyable screening process is ensuring them that their information is private, and will be treated as such. Reassure them that while you as a company may be accessing this information, it will never displayed publicly, and will remain secure. The internet is never a place to post any of this information, as almost every medium is accessible by the public somehow. Express to applicants how important confidentiality is within your business, and how their personal information will never be seen outside of the company.
What can be disconcerting to many people is the notion that should something questionable arise in their background checks, they will immediately barred from employment. This brings your company’s policy into question. One thing that can directly harm your hiring potential is a no-tolerance approach to background checks. Obviously, serious crimes can immediately discredit an applicant, but smaller marks in their work, education, or criminal history should be followed up with a requested explanation. Allow these candidates to provide you with insight as to why this occurrence appeared on their background check, and potentially explain why it does not reflect who they are as professionals.
Keep applicants informed throughout the entire process. From the beginning, let them know how long conducting the background check will take, and when they can expect to hear back. Screening an employee is almost never a quick process. Companies should consider many different pieces of information, confirming them all before deciding to hire an applicant. Explain how this can take anywhere from a few business days, and possibly a full week or so.
Stay in contact with every candidate throughout the screening process as well. While this may be a routine part of your job, it isn’t for every applicant. Keeping them in the dark is almost a guaranteed way to cause concern, and can negatively reflect on your company. Communicate as frequently as you can.
Background checks can be fairly intimidating for those applying for jobs, so be sure to make their experience as smooth as possible. Communicate regularly, work alongside the applicants, and assure them that their personal information will remain confidential within your company.