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Identifying Essential Background Check Criteria

Jan 17, 2024

Identifying Essential Background Check Criteria

Finding the right employees for manufacturing companies is a time-consuming and tricky task. You want to make an informed decision, but what happens when an applicant has all the essential skills for the job and a background check reveals new information about their past?

Most employers will find themselves in this situation at some point, as one in three Americans holds a criminal record. This includes minor convictions, which can present major barriers to employment.

Background checks are important, but they’re not always the end-all, be-all. When deciding whether to hire a particular applicant, you should consider some criteria and disregard others.

How does a background check work?

When you run a background check on an applicant, you’ll get information about their criminal history, credit score and driving record. You can also find out if they have any lawsuits pending against them or if they have filed for bankruptcy.

Employers often use this tool to ensure that employees are trustworthy and responsible enough to handle sensitive data and deliver reliable work. However, not all of this information is essential for a job in the manufacturing industry, especially as the standard for background checks is to go as far back as seven years.

What makes something a nonessential check?

The answer to this question relies on the nature of the job and your company’s policies. Moreover, a study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Charles Koch Institute (CKI) found that only 15% of managers are unwilling to approach background checks on a case-by-case basis.

Therefore, knowing what not to look for is just as important as knowing what to look for. For example, credit history is only relevant if the role involves financial responsibility. Otherwise, it would be best if you didn’t risk excluding a qualified applicant.

The same goes for criminal offenses such as a DUI, as it’s unlikely this type of charge, possibly from years prior, will impact the applicant’s ability to do the job.

In fact, the same study revealed that managers and HR professionals are most likely to give substance-related felons a second chance, with 66% agreeing that these hires perform just as well or better than employees without records.

Are background checks always necessary?

Before conducting a background check, consider whether you need to run one at all. If you’re hiring a worker who will be in direct contact with customers, then it’s probably a good idea to run one.

If the job requires more technical skills and less interaction with others, you may only need to know certain things about your applicant.

Interview them to get a grasp of their personality and work history and maybe even conduct a hands-on task to prove their suitability for the role.

These factors are essential to running a successful business and recruiting the best talent in the manufacturing industry. And if you decide to conduct background checks, ensure you have a flexible mindset that doesn’t lock you into a one-size-fits-all approach.

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