Background checking - a new era of due diligence
- BY AMANDA GAN
- MONDAY, APRIL 10, 2017
In the last few years we have seen an increasing number of healthcare organisations outsource the reference checking part of the recruitment process to specialist background checking companies. Hiring the wrong person can be a very expensive exercise for companies, so it's no wonder they are engaging the services of experts whose sole job it is to complete thorough background checks. Their services usually include the usual verbal reference checking with former managers, plus educational qualification verification, criminal record check, driving records, assurance of the candidate's right to work and an employment history check. This process is far more in-depth than most candidates are expecting and as such could result in questions being raised about the information in your CV, especially if you are prone to embellishing certain parts of it. (Please note your consent is always required in writing prior to any background checking process).
Here are some tips for getting through the background checking process and securing your dream job:
- Accuracy on your CV - This sounds obvious however over time many candidates forget specific employment dates (month/year), job titles or even duties, and opt for an 'it's close enough' approach. Others may massage dates to bridge any employment gaps on the CV. The background checking process will verify your employment dates with the HR or Payroll department of past companies, and any discrepancies (however small) may leave you have to explain the inconsistency and may call your integrity into question. Put simply, the process is to make sure that an individual hasn’t made false or misleading statements in their application for employment.
- Qualifications - Your qualifications will be checked with the institution that awarded it to you. So if you only partially completed a degree, it is important to clearly state this on your CV.
- Reference checking with former managers - See our article "What you need to know about Reference Checking".
- Social media / media / online presence - When you type someone's name into Google you can usually get a hit, usually their Linked In profile or Facebook profile. We have in the past come across candidate's with dubious comments on blogs or social forums or even detrimental newspaper articles on them, so it is important to manage your online presence.
- Sell yourself, but don't over do it - The challenge is to sell your skills and achievements without stretching the truth or embellishing the facts.
For more information, here are a couple of companies that specialise in background checking.