Background Verification Basics, HR Corner, HR Resources, Uncategorized

A Prospective Candidate Failed the Background Verification Check. What do You Do?

Let’s talk about what you should not do when a prospective candidate fails a background verification check in order to understand what you should do.

Imagine this: after interviewing 25 candidates, you zero-in on one candidate. You think you’ve found the perfect person. Only until the pre employment screening results come to your inbox. Hold on. The background check results are negative. Apart from that the candidate is an excellent match to the profile and to your company. What should you not do?

  • Don’t just agree with the screening report
  • Don’t make a decision to not hire based on the screening report
  • Conversely, don’t decide to hire the candidate either

Then what should you do? Should you go with the screening result and reject the candidate or should you go with your gut feeling and hire? Could it be a mistake by the background verification company or is the candidate at fault? There are a few best practices to find these answers and tackle this situation. 

What happens when the candidate fails in background verification check

Why did the candidate fail? Find out the reasons

It would be important to understand the reasons the candidate failed the test. There are many reasons for a negative result. They could be either simple reasons or serious issues. Unless you get into the details, you wouldn’t know. 

Typically, background verification companies would share detailed reports of each test conducted. The most important tests are criminal history check, education check, employment history and employment verification checks, and address check, among others. Check exactly where the verification agency marked red flags. Then, get into the details.

Go through each and every detail under each category of checks and assess whether the result might affect the job or the company. For example, if a candidate has a legal suit filed for something as trivial as breaking a traffic signal once. This is something that should not affect the job or the company and shouldn’t be a reason why a good professional was denied a job. But unless you get into the details, you wouldn’t find this information.

Refer to your company hiring policy

Read your company hiring policy to a tee. Most hiring policies have detailed guidelines about hiring for different profiles. Once you find details pertaining to the profile for which you are hiring the candidate, cross check the requirements. This will give you an idea about whether or not you must go with the screening result to make a decision or not.

Have a one-on-one with the candidate

Have a discussion with the candidate. HR managers should also share a copy of the report or parts of the report with the candidate. It is possible that the results are wrong. It is possible that the candidate has a valid explanation for the result. There could be many reasons: the candidate might have been a victim of identity theft, or the results were wrong due to computer error, or the candidate had been framed into something. It is also possible that the results are correct but it may not affect the candidates profile or may not cause any harm to the company. It is best to have a discussion with the candidate and allow them to explain their story.

Make a decision

Once you’ve spoken with the candidate, make a decision based on your discussion and findings. If you find that the screening result was false and the candidate would not do harm to the company, follow the company HR guidelines of hiring in such a case. These would include offering job offer letters and clearly explaining further steps in the hiring process.

Conversely, if you decide to go with the screening results and choose not to hire the candidate, send a written notice to the candidate, clearly stating the reasons. Many companies follow certain practices such as:

  • Stating the reasons for the rejection
  • Sharing the background verification check report
  • Sharing the contact of the screening company

It would be a shame if a good candidate was denied a job because of discrepancies and a negative background screening result. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone deserves a second chance. 

Conversely, background verification companies that might have shared wrong results should also be sent a notice. It is also important to find out the source of the errors made. It is vital for companies to choose the right background screening company in order to be on top of their hiring processes.