Background Screning

5 Common Mistakes in Background Screening and How to Avoid Them

The mere notion of mistakes in background checks sends shivers down the spines of most HR managers. A mistake in personnel screening can have serious implications, ranging from disciplinary action to the loss of a potential recruit. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to protect yourself by omitting any job background checks. A bad hiring can expose your company to theft, lost time, and excessive turnover expenses. 


Background Screening is an absolute must. As a result, you must use caution when you conduct such checks. Fortunately, the majority of mistakes in background screening are quite simple to prevent. 

Table of Contents

Here are some of the most typical mistakes made during employment screening:

You Don't Have a Screening Policy That Is Consistent

Many errors in background screening may be traced back to one fundamental mistake: 

You took a decision that may be considered discriminatory. In many situations, it’s just an issue of inconsistent procedures. 


For e.g.: You may have run a credit check on one accounting applicant but not the other. Perhaps you ran a thorough background check on one candidate while settling for a short criminal report on another. It makes no difference how reasonable your reasoning is. When you subject various candidates to different standards, it always looks bad 

The Solution: Set a standard and stick to it.

Determine what information about a candidate for a given position is absolutely important to know. Do you have a criminal record? What is your credit score? Is there a cultural fit? 


Then devise a formal process for vetting each and every candidate in the same manner. Different methods might be established for various roles. However, if two candidates are seeking the same position, you should ensure that they are being reviewed using the same criteria. 

You don't allow applicants to correct background screening errors.

It’s easy to treat a background check report as a yes-or-no question when you’re in a hurry to make a hiring choice. Is the applicant’s record free of blemishes? If the answer is no, they’re out. If yes, they’re in. 

Pre-employment background checks, however, cannot disclose the whole story. 

The Solution: Provide applicants with an opportunity to reply to their screening results.

Asking otherwise potential prospects if they can explain a blemish on their record is always a good idea. Naturally, this adds to your HR manager’s workload. In reality, because follow-up takes time, failing to ask questions is probably a typical oversight. 

You Failed to Get Permission

Before performing background screening, you must get written authorization. This may seem too apparent to include among the most common background screening errors, but it does happen. 

The Solution: Ensure that the screening process cannot begin until your prospective employee gives written consent.

Asking for too much

Few employers are so keen to safeguard their company that they perform every background check they can think of. Imagine being pulled over for speeding and being asked for your driver’s license, registration, college transcript, work history, and three-character references. You’d most likely get defensive. You could also consider it a violation of your privacy. The majority of the documents had nothing to do with the officer. 


If you ask to view your credit report and driving record, a graphic designer is likely to feel the same way. It’s like digging into someone’s personal life for information that has nothing to do with the candidate’s potential to serve your organization.

The Solution: Only look at records that are relevant to the position—no more, no less.

Take a step back and consider what you truly need to know about a prospect before you can trust them with your organization.

Conducting Social Media research personally

Of course, one of the most typical mistakes in background screening would be using social media. Is there any element of modern professionalism that hasn’t been impacted by social media? Many companies, understandably, use social media to assess candidates for cultural fit. It’s reasonable, but it’s also inconvenient. Why? 


Because social media has a lot of information you don’t want to know the information you couldn’t lawfully question in an interview. You could find out about a candidate’s age, religion, sexual orientation, or political views. You may learn whether they have children or if they’ve had any recent health problems. Anyone would have a hard time proving you discriminated against them based on this information. However, as a general rule, it’s preferable to stay away from acquiring this information while making recruiting decisions. 

The Solution: For cultural fit tests, use a professional employment background screening agency.

An employment screening agency can assess a potential hire’s character objectively. They can give data that helps you to make informed human capital decisions while concealing information that could lead to unconscious prejudice. Furthermore, when it comes to human capital due diligence, a professional background screening business is likely to be more experienced. It is, after all, what they do on a daily basis. They understand what to search for, where to look for it, and how to interpret the information. 

Professionals should handle social media screening and other cultural fit studies. 

How can MIMO help?

By partnering with a third-party background screening company, you will be able to receive all the information you need quickly. Working with a reputable background check firm will save you time and money while also ensuring that you remain compliant in the customer screening process. 


The simple truth is that recruiting the best personnel is a rigorous competition, and you must be at the top of your game to attract and keep the best. Making the right hiring decisions will have a significant influence on your business, resulting in higher productivity. MIMO offers all-inclusive background check services with a focus on compliance adherence to provide you with the most reliable and up-to-date details. 

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

More To Explore