Recruiting Online: 9 Great Steps To Conducting a Background Check 

Remote Hiring

Recruiting Online: 9 Great Steps To Conducting a Background Check 

June 4, 2022

Tima Rassool

Tima Rassool

Content Writer

You are recruiting online and have found the perfect candidate. But you want peace of mind over them so you choose to run a background check. This is normally done when you’re at the point of making an offer but some organizations opt to run checks on several shortlisted candidates as a means of choosing between them.

So, who does background checks? How do they work and what are the pitfalls? Everything you need to know – and everything you didn’t know – about background checks are right here in this blog!

So without further ado, let’s jump into the good stuff. 

Why Should You Conduct A Background Check When recruiting Online?

recruiter using recruiting solution while recruiting online

One of the main reasons that businesses go to the effort and expense of running background checks while recruiting online is simply to avoid liability. Another reason is mitigating the risk of workplace violence or employee theft. 

A roughly $50 investment could save an employer from hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages from a negligent hiring lawsuit.

This is the main reason that some seven out of ten employers said they conducted at least a criminal check on all job candidates. The most common background checks are 

  1. Criminal records checks 
  2. Credit reports 
  3. Driving records 
  4. Verification of education backgrounds 
  5. Identity and 
  6. Previous addresses.

How To Run Background Checks And Manage Their Results

recruiters looking at candidates while recruiting online

Running your own pre-employment background checks, using whatever data you can find online, is not recommended when recruiting online. Your chance of being sued ( like for refusing employment to someone based on inaccurate information) increases if you don’t partner with a background check company that complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The FCRA is a federal law enacted in 1970. Its original purpose was to help consumers resolve inaccuracies in their credit reports. But it has expanded to include rules on how employers and other entities can pull personal information on applicants.

Here is a step-by-step process for running pre-employment background checks in a legal, fair and consistent manner.

Get Legal Advice, And Check With Your Insurance

It is always important to consult a lawyer before you decide to conduct pre-employment background screens. They will help ensure you are moving in the right direction. You should also take this time to contact your corporate insurance carrier and discuss your liability plan.

Develop A Policy

Employees collaborating together while recruiting online

Under no circumstances should you begin this program without a well-reviewed company policy for conducting background checks. If you want to conduct ongoing background checks, be sure to include that information and potential causes for the checks in your policy.

Notify Candidates

Recruiters prevent losing top talent while recruiting online

You should tell all candidates upfront that your company conducts pre-employment background checks, drug screenings or other qualifying tests for employment at your company. This not only gives them fair warning but may also weed out applicants who know that a background check may disqualify them from consideration.

Make A Contingent Job Offer

recruiting team collaborating together while recruiting online

It is important to conduct background checks only after you have extended a job offer when recruiting online. This is in relation to ban-the-box laws. The ban-the-box law prohibits employers from asking applicants about criminal history on a job application (and, in some states, during an interview or prior to an offer of employment). Though most countries don’t have this law, it is best practice to first make a job offer contingent on the successful completion of a background check.

Conduct The Background Check

video interviewing software integration while recruiting online

Every background check agency has its own process. Most of the time, all you need to do is log in to your provider’s secure website, fill out a few questions and submit the request. Checks typically take two to four days to complete, depending on how many specific screenings you are conducting when recruiting online.

Carefully Review And Consider The Findings

recruiter using an ATS while recruiting online

After conducting the background check, thoughtfully review the information it uncovers. There may be convictions on the report, but how recent are they and are they relevant to the job? For example, if a candidate was charged with possession of marijuana 20 years ago and there is not much on the report since then, it’s probably fine to proceed with the candidate. However, if there are any sexual or other violent convictions, you should think through the ramifications of bringing this person on board when recruiting online. It may also be helpful to contact your attorney.

Follow Up On Results (Especially When You Rescind An Offer)

data-driven insights on a hiring platform while recruiting online

Contact the candidate to ask follow-up questions after recruiting online. They should have an opportunity to clear their name, correct a misreporting, or provide context.

If you rescind a job offer, be ready to share the facts you found and why they matter. However, this is not meant to be a debate. Do not wait for the candidate to agree with you. Simply state the facts – for example, “I’m sorry, Mr Smith, but a robbery conviction dating back two years does not provide us with enough confidence to move forward with your employment at this time.”

Save Your Records

recruiter using video interviewing software while recruiting online

You should keep your records for at least one year from the close of the job posting. Include records on anyone you’ve tentatively offered a job and screened while recruiting online. It is prudent to file these records away in case a former applicant inquires about their report, wants a copy of it or even sues your company.

In closing 

Background checks should be used to help you make the right hiring decision – not to make that decision for you. That being said, they are extremely important to ensure that every candidate you hire in your company will not become a decision you regret! 

However, you will not have to work this hard while recruiting new hires!

EVA-REC is an AI-based, next-generation hiring platform that expedites manual tasks such as filtering, shortlisting, and scheduling interviews with candidates. But it doesn’t stop there, with EVA-REC, you can also streamline the applicant tracking process, send electronic offers, and hire great people, every single time!

Request a free demo today, and get to see our award-winning hiring platform in action! 

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Hire, assess, onboard and manage top talent for every job. See how Elevatus streamlines everything; from acquire to new hire.

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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.

Turn top talent to employees fast

Hire, assess, onboard and manage top talent for every job. See how Elevatus streamlines everything; from acquire to new hire.

Request a demo