So you think an Employee Background Check is a waste of your time? Here are some alarming stories for you:


One of our clients had interviewed an impressive candidate who had done well in the interview and had all the skills for the job. But the reference list he provided seemed ambiguous which included work experiences from much former jobs and did not provide any details of his recent employers for the client to verify the authenticity. We were in a perplexed situation unable to identify whether this was a red flag in our pre-employment screening (recruitment) process or did our candidate simply lack the skills to put together a credible reference list?

To further the hiring process we had recommended the client to ask their prospective job applicant to provide relevant information of his two recent managers for background verification to which he obliged and that made him appear to be reliable.

However, this was a short-lived impression since after connecting with the line managers we discovered that this candidate had been fired by both of his last employers for theft and fraud following with jail time for those cases.

Imagine if we, like some employers, wouldn’t make an effort to go an extra mile to check employee references, conduct thorough pre-employment investigation and make sure that each and every provided information is reliable only to put the corporation at the verge of reputational risk?

An open-ended question for our readers! Would your employee background screening practices have kept this from happening to you, or would this guy now be working down the hall from you, swindling you too? 

The lesson from this incident clearly is: Don’t limit yourself only to the candidate’s list of references. If the candidate has offered peers or personal references rather than managers, ask to be put in touch with the specific people you want to talk to. Call the main switchboard numbers rather than the direct number you were given. For all you know, the candidate could have given you a friend’s phone number so the friend can pose as the former boss. Ask the right questions. If you just run through a perfunctory list of questions, you may never get to the most useful information. References are only a waste of time if you treat them like just an item to check off your list, rather than as a genuinely valuable part of your assessment process.

Downside of Negligent Hiring 

Recruiters should also have a clear understanding of the skills an applicant needs to possess to succeed in their job role. AJ Silberman-Moffitt, senior editor at search marketing agency Tandem Buzz, learned just how wrong things can go when the wrong candidate is hired while she was training her replacement after accepting a promotion. “Because she worked in a position with the same title as mine, there was no reason to think she would not know how to use the necessary tools and software,” Silberman-Moffitt said. “She answered everything appropriately in the interview, and the HR manager and I hired her,” according to a report in the

Once the new hire accepted the offer, it quickly became evident she didn’t have the skill set needed to do the job. “When she started, and I began to train her, it was like a deer staring into headlights,” Silberman-Moffitt recalls. “Even the simplest tasks, such as entering information into Excel, were difficult for her. It seemed that traffic at an agency and a television station were not as similar as I thought they would be. “The recruitment ended in defeat, resulting in wasted time and money, Silberman-Moffitt said. “Ultimately, she was let go because she couldn’t grasp the job.” During the hiring process, consider giving applicants an assessment or a test. Aptitude tests and projects aren’t always necessary, but these procedures evaluate whether the candidate can perform the responsibilities of the role. If you use any software or tools that are central to the role, it’s best to ask targeted questions about the applicant’s experience with them.


Why an Employee Background Vetting is an Indispensable Recruitment Tool

Employee Background check concepts are inescapable for your organisation if you are looking to minimise risks surrounding a bad hire. The concept of pre-employment screening has become one of the most significant phases in the recruitment process.

The escalating figure of crime scenes and fraudulence incidents justifies why organisations take up this step. Within the dynamic business environment we’re operating in, corporations are now more inclined towards being vigilant of the quality of employees they are hiring. Specifically, the human resource managers are strategizing to reduce employee turnover and burnout rate thereby increasing retention of competent employees. With the vision of achieving a sustainable workplace environment, pre-employment screening and comprehensive background checks are becoming an essential instrument to welcome and retain the finest possible.  

The concept of Employee Background Check

An Employee Background Check is a worthwhile concept as employers strive to have the best pick from the candidates who show up for the recruitment process. After the interview sessions are over, a minimum of two weeks is required to get through the employee background screening procedure before you can finalise the hires. Since this procedure requires a thorough knowledge of regulatory compliance and investigative analytical skills, corporations outsource this service to the industrial experts to conduct a comprehensive verification of employee’s academic, professional and even social presence. After the employer is gratified with the check, the employee is offered an appointment letter to join them.


CRI Group’s EmploySmart™ can be tailored into specific screening packages to meet the requirements of each specific position within your organisation. 

Download our EmploySmart brochure or get a free quote to ensure a safe work environment for all.

Advantages of an Employee Background Check

Organisations carry out such checks due to a myriad of reasons. Some of these include:

  • Validating the resume
  • Learning about the nature of the candidate
  • Behaviour at past offices
  • Learning about criminal experience

What to include in Employee Background Checks?

  • History of employment: Verify the references given by the candidate as it confirms their behavioural and working patterns with previous employers. 
  • Criminal background: It is essential to confirm that the candidate does not have a criminal history.
  • Credit history: Knowing the credit rating of your candidate is also important as this reveals the integrity of the employees. 
  • Terror Watch List: For the businesses running in countries like the USA, checking the Terror Watch List against names of their candidates is especially critical.
  • Checking Social Security: Organisations should check the legitimacy of Social Security Numbers of candidates. This will also confirm if the candidate has been using other names.
  • Checking public/court records: This is done to check if the candidate has been implicated in any sort of court proceedings or not.
  • Reference checks: There are two types of reference Employee Background Checks: personal and employment. Both facilitate in confirming the integrity, reliability, steadiness, and personality of the employee.
  • Checking Sex Offender Registry: A Sex Offender Registry check must be conducted as well so you don’t endanger others, especially in roles surrounding children and other susceptible individuals, by hiring a sexual predator.
  • Education check: This is carried out to determine the authenticity of the various credentials provided by the candidate you are planning to recruit.
  • Driving Records: If your candidate is required to drive a company-owned vehicle, then checking driving records and license is essential for you.
  • Record of Military Service: You need to pay attention to some key measures while hiring a candidate with a military service record. That is why checking the military service records of your candidates is also important.
  • Compensation Record: Checking the candidate’s compensation claims from past employers is also significant before hiring an employee.

In conducting employee background checks, there are some golden rules that one needs to observe to avoid any legal complications. These do and don’ts include but are not limited to:


  • Having a consistent background checks policy and detailing how the policy should be used.
  • Getting legal advice on how to conduct background checks under the local legal framework.
  • Giving the applicants a chance to clear up any faults or misconstructions appearing on their documentations and during the interview process.
  • Employing a Background Check service provider who is compliant with the legal frameworks of your region
  • Understanding the difference between background checks vs investigative consumer reports.


  • Avoid background checks on an applicant-by-applicant basis. The checks should be carried out for everyone.
  • Avoid making the assumption that some parts of the background check process are routine
  • Avoid making decisions without giving the applicant a chance to respond.
  • Avoid assuming that any companies seeking information about an individual are legally compliant.
  • Avoid requesting information about the character or personal and the private life of an individual while verifying the historical employment facts.

Necessities for conducting Employee Background Checks

  • You need to have a candidate’s full name, date of birth, and Social Security Number for doing a background check.
  • If you want to check credit reports, military records, and school transcripts, you need the candidate’s permission.
  • If you hire an outside company to do the background check, you need to take the candidate’s permission.
  • If the candidate denies the permission, you will be entitled to take the candidate out of consideration for that job profile.

What are the disadvantages of an Employee Background Check?

One of the major disadvantages is that you might see this as a wastage of time and money. An organisation invests large sums of money in conducting such investigations, and most of the time, the person turns out to be a genuine one and with the time it takes to conduct these checks, the candidate may think that the organisation is not interested and hence, they may join some other organisation in this period.

Judging a candidate on his/her background deeds may not always prove to be fruitful either. It may happen that a candidate got trapped in a criminal offence and in an actual sense, they are a gem of a person. But when you do not know the candidate personally, you will focus on the verification reports and let a genuine person go.

If there is still any uncertainty in your mind about conducting employee background checks, why not reach out to us? CRI Group has experts across the globe from all backgrounds who are trained to provide you with specialised, expert advice fit for your business needs. Get in touch today!


Who is CRI Group™?

Based in London, CRI Group™ works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue Diligence, TPRMCompliance Solutions, and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group™ also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group™ launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC™) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC™ operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. 

Contact ABAC™ for more on ISO Certification and training.