Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Background and Reference Checks Help Avoid Bad Experiences

A Reader Recently Wrote: “We are reviewing resumes for some positions and I was wondering if you were aware of any services that do resume background verification. We have a large batch of applicants and want to be sure that the information in their CVs is accurate. We recently had a bad experience with someone who gave us false information. We think it is worth prescreening candidates if it is logistically or economically feasible."
Dear Reader: Conducting background and reference checks can certainly help avoid bad experiences with your new hires. When DHR conducts a candidate background check, we frequently use a firm called HireRight ( HireRight is headquartered in the US. It verifies education and conducts criminal background checks globally through a network of partners. It also checks items like bankruptcy filings and driving records, etc. My issue with HireRight is that, in an effort to be efficient, it has too many auto-responders and not enough live humans to answer questions. This may be because I am in the wrong time zone.
Another background check company with whom I have worked in Asia and which has a Singapore office, is First Advantage ( They have Asia operations, not just “partner relationships.” In my experience, First Advantage provides better customer service in Asia time zones.
Other background checking companies you may want to research include New York-headquartered iCIMS ( It has offices in Beijing and in Europe. Aurico, ( based in Illinois says it does international background checks but does not appear to have offices in Asia. Employee Screen IQ, based in Cleveland, ( has a US focus, at least from its website.
HireRight charges per candidate so you may want to whittle your candidate group down to a few top individuals before you send CVs off to a background checking firm. Or maybe you can negotiate a quantity discount.
Reference Checks: DHR also conducts reference checks when our client is about to hire a candidate. These may be calls to individuals whose names the candidate gives us. We may also conduct “soft” checks to people in the industry who may know the candidate. Some people are skeptical about reference checks because they think they are self-serving. I find, however, that even when the reference is being polite about the candidate, if I listen carefully and ask the right questions, he/she will reveal some of the truth. I strongly encourage everyone to call your candidate’s references and ask a lot of questions before you hire him/her.

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