Risks of Checking Someone’s Background Online

Every business owner knows how important it is to hire people who are not just fit for the job but are also law-abiding citizens with integrity. This is one of the primary reasons companies do a background checking about the applicant’s history prior to officially offering the job and sealing the deal.


Although the most established companies seek the assistance of professional companies specializing in conducting background investigations, there are still some businesses that do manual background checking on their own. This is totally understandable, especially because doing so can be fairly easy at times, therefore more practical and affordable than hiring professionals to do the job.


However, if you are about to conduct a background investigation on applicants for the job at your business, you have to be mindful of the possible risks you may be faced with, and you have to be extra careful.


First and foremost, you have to make it clear to the applicant beforehand that you will be conducting a background investigation on them — this is to steer clear of any issues relating to privacy on their side. The applicant has to be aware that you are making this check AND they have to agree to it before you proceed to the actual checking.


Once your application has agreed to the background checking, you have to put it in writing. A verbal agreement is not very reliable and it would be better if you let the applicant sign a printed document.


Limit the information you would search for. Ensure that you would only look up information that has a direct relevance to the job they have applied to.


Give the applicant a chance to give an explanation in case you come across a piece of information that may cause problems in the future. For an instance, you have seen that they were charged with DUI charges five years ago, ask them about it to gain more information and determine if it was just a one-time thing and may not have a huge impact on the job you are offering.


Do not stalk your applicants on social media networks. Keep everything professional. Social media accounts would show the person’s personal life, and as long as their job doesn’t have a direct connection to their personal life, don’t check them out on Facebook.


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