A recruiter conducting a background check on candidates in order to improve employer branding.


Demystifying Background Checks and How They Can Impact Your Employer Branding

October 17, 2022

Tima Rassool

Tima Rassool

Content Writer

Employer branding is critical in the war for top talent.

Therefore, when it comes to protecting your employer branding, background checks are one of the most important aspects an organization can focus on. By demystifying the process and making it more transparent, organizations can create a more positive image for themselves and improve their chances of attracting top talent.

While conducting a background check can seem daunting, it doesn't have to be. By understanding the basics of what goes into a background check and working with a reputable provider, you can ensure that your organization is getting the most accurate and up-to-date information possible.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about background checks and how they can impact your employer branding. Let's get started!

What is a Background Check?

A recruiter running a background check on candidates to improve employer branding

A background check is an investigation into a person's past. It can include looking into their criminal history, employment history, education, and personal life. The purpose of a background check is to provide employers with information that can help them make informed hiring decisions.

According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 86 percent of organizations conduct some form of background check on all job candidates. This is to ensure that they are hiring the best candidates and avoid any potential liability.

Companies use different services to access different databases to run these checks. These agencies will then provide the employer with a report on the findings. It is important to remember that a background check's results are not always accurate and up-to-date. 

Sometimes, employers require potential employees to consent to a background check as part of the hiring process. This means that the candidate must sign a release form that allows the employer to run a check.

The form should include information on what type of check will be conducted, how it will be used, and what rights the candidate has.

There are a number of different types of background checks, but the most common ones are:

  • Criminal background checks
  • Employment history checks
  • Credit checks
  • Education verification

While some employers choose to do their own background screens, others hire screening companies specializing in this research type. These companies use commercial databases that gather information from public records.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that sets rules for how consumer reporting agencies can collect and use consumer reporting agency information. This law also applies to background check companies.

The FCRA requires these companies to follow certain procedures when conducting background checks for employment purposes. For example, before ordering a report on a candidate, the employer must get written permission from the candidate or employee.

The employer must also notify the candidate or employee if they plan to use the information in the background check report as a reason for not hiring them. Lastly, if an adverse action is taken based on information in the report, the employer must provide a copy of the report to the candidate or employee.

Adverse actions include things like denying employment, promotions or raises. Most states have laws that regulate how employers can conduct background checks. These laws generally fall into two categories:

  • Restrictions on what employers can ask for and disclose
  • Limits on when employers can run checks

Many states have passed “ban-the-box” laws prohibiting employers from asking about a candidate's criminal history on job applications. Some states also have laws that restrict when employers can run criminal record checks.

For example, New York state law prohibits discrimination based on arrest records, so employers cannot require candidates to disclose arrests that did not result in convictions. 

These laws generally aim to prevent discrimination against candidates with criminal records.

But they also protect candidates from sharing their personal information without their consent. And they allow candidates to explain their criminal history before being judged based on it. Overall, this will strengthen your company's image and employer branding.

Ultimately, background checks can have a significant impact on your employer brand. Here are some of its advantages:

1. They Can Improve the Quality of Your New Hires

A recruiter running a demystifying check to enhance employer branding

Running a demystifying background check on new hires can improve your employees' quality and impact your employer branding. By making sure they don't have a criminal record, you are more likely to stay out of trouble with the law.

For example, if an employee with a criminal record is hired and then commits a crime while working for your company, you could be sued for negligence. The same is true if an employee lies on their application and you do not run a background check.

If they are caught lying, it will reflect poorly on your company. On the other hand, if you do a background check and it shows that the candidate has lied, you can avoid hiring them. This will save your company time and money in the long run.

It will also show that you are committed to only hiring the best employees for your company. This type of commitment will improve your employer branding.

2. They Can Help You Avoid Hiring Disqualified Candidates

Recruiters working on employer branding

Another way that background checks can impact your employer branding is by helping you avoid hiring disqualified candidates. For example, if you are looking to hire a truck driver, you will want to make sure that they do not have any DUI convictions on their record.

If you were to hire a truck driver with a DUI conviction and he got into an accident while working for your company, it would reflect poorly on your company's employer branding. This is because people would assume that you did not do a thorough background check before hiring the employee.

Doing a background check can help you avoid situations like this. Ensuring that all of your employees are qualified for their position will improve your employer branding.

It will show that you are a company that does not cut corners and is committed to safety. Both of these qualities are attractive to potential employees and customers.

3. They Can Help You Avoid Legal Liability

 A recruiter using recruiting solution to improve employer branding

Every employer wishes to avoid legal responsibility. One method is to conduct background checks on all of your employees. This will assist you in avoiding any potential lawsuits that may result from negligent hiring.

For example, if you hire an employee without conducting a background check and they end up stealing from your company, you could face legal consequences. The same holds true if they commit a crime while working for you.

A background check can assist you in avoiding these situations. You can avoid potential legal liability by ensuring that your employees do not have a criminal record. This will boost your employer branding because it demonstrates your dedication to defending your company. It will also demonstrate your commitment to following the law.

4. They Can Help You Build Trust With Your Customers

Recruiters succeeding at improving the employer branding

Finally, background checks can help you build trust with your customers. For example, if you are a company selling products to children, you will want to ensure that all of your employees have undergone background checks.

This is because parents will be entrusting their children to your employees. If you can show that you have done everything in your power to ensure the safety of their children, they will be more likely to trust your company.

This type of trust is important for employer branding. It will show potential employees that you are a company that values its customers and that you are also willing to go the extra mile to ensure their safety.

Wrapping Up

Background checks are an important part of employer branding. They can help you avoid hiring qualified candidates, build trust with your customers, and avoid legal liability.

If you are not already running background checks on your employees, you should start doing so as soon as possible! It will monumentally improve your employer branding and help you attract the best employees with ease.

EVA-REC is an on-demand recruitment software that automates and improves the hiring process with AI technology. From small businesses to industry giants—we aim to offer fully customizable, world-class features that help create a rich and immersive hiring experience for recruiters and candidates. With EVA-REC, companies can drive merit-based, objective, and fair hiring practices that minimize bias without dehumanizing the hiring process. Request a free demo of EVA-REC today!

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Tima Rassool

Tima Rassool

A wordsmith, storyteller, and content strategist – Tima is an MBA graduate with 6+ years of experience in the world of HR. With over 2,000 blogs under her belt, Tima's expertise and insights have helped businesses across the globe take their recruitment to the next level and stay ahead of the curve.

Recruit better, faster, and fairer

Join hundreds of recruiting teams who increased their hiring success and recruited winning teams with Elevatus.

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