Close the Loop on Your Recruiting Strategy with Thorough Background Screening

By Lisa P. May

HR Professionals and hiring managers know that finding the best, most qualified, motivated person to fill an open position is integral to a successful business. Choose wrong, and your company can be out a great deal of money. estimates a bad hire costs 30% of the position’s first year’s salary. A few of those each year can REALLY damage the bottom line, especially for smaller organizations.

So, what can you do to minimize making the wrong turn down the path of the recruiting and interviewing journey? Close the loop on your recruiting strategy with thorough background screening!

Here’s how.

At the top of the loop, you have recruiting tools:

Resume and application. An applicant’s resume and application create a starting point, and answer several broad questions. Do they match the position you are seeking to fill? Do their experience, education, and strengths give you confidence they would be a proper fit, and perform productively?

The resume isn’t going to convince you to hire someone but will show you whether or not they deserve an interview.

Interview process. Meeting face-to-face (or increasingly via video) gives those involved in the hiring decision a chance to eyeball the job seeker. Grooming and dress come into play, as well as his or her mannerisms. The picture gets more fleshed out during the interview with their answers to the questions, their attitude, and engagement. Do they make eye contact? Are they super nervous, or calm and cool? Do they provide concrete answers, or respond with a bunch of fluff?

Many times, the above tools are all the hiring team considers before reaching their decision.

Unfortunately, this leaves the loop wide open for costly, frustrating results brought on by good interviewers, but not-so-great employees.

Close the loop!

Background screening tools help Hiring Professionals close the loop on strategic hiring in 3 specific ways.

Verify claims. Sure, an applicant can say they were a rock star at their last job, but did they really perform that well? Did they even work there? Background screening connects the dots between the resume, the interview, and reality.

Give insight. A sharp suit, nice haircut, and shined shoes are impressive. So are polished, smooth answers to your interview questions. But how will the job candidate perform day-to-day? Can they handle deadlines, and deal with stress? Are they hiding a dangerous background? Are they a drug abuser? None of these issues are fully addressed without the help of a background screening process.

Address company culture. Serious conflicts arise in workplaces that hire people who don’t fit into the culture of the company. Negative, disruptive additions to the working environment have far-reaching consequences. From the loss of productivity to excessive turnover, companies suffer in measurable and indirect ways if they fail to take their culture into account.

Closing the loop in your hiring process takes a few key tools that afford insights that help make better, smarter decisions.

Tools to use:

First, remember that all background screeners are not created equally. It’s imperative to choose a professional, experienced background screening company. Companies that cut corners may return inaccurate or incomplete information. In addition, you may be led down a path of non-compliance that ends up getting you sued for negligent hiring practices!

Work with an organization that is certified by the National Board of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), and that has licensed Private Investigators on staff. Ask your Account Executive about compliance issues, and the types of screening other clients in your industry employ. If he or she pushes you toward just using an instant criminal search, or, if you can’t get a live human on the phone to ask your questions, mark them off your list.

Assessment testing. Definitive checks (which we will cover later) are important to determine a job seeker’s fit and qualifications that pertain to the position. Assessment tests dig deeper into his or her core values. Will the employee steal? Which ones are the most dependable? Are there any anger issues, or other negative behavior traits? Using assessment tests during the hiring process helps companies weed out the candidates who are not a good fit, and focus resources on more promising applicants.

Criminal history. Uncovering past criminal behavior is key to protect the safety of your workplace. Build a screening process consisting of county, state, federal, and database searches to maximize your insight into an applicant’s background.

*note: make sure to follow EEOC guidance on using criminal records in hiring, to protect your company from discrimination lawsuits.

Employment/education. Faking work history and falsifying education records are key areas where applicants frequently mislead employers. It seems like every other week the news is covering a high-ranking employee who has faked his degree! Education and employment verifications shed light on the potential employee’s experience and training, and verify or nullify the claims they make on their resumes and during interviews.

Drug screening. Drug-addicted employees cause disastrous, immeasurable damage to a company’s bottom line. Drug users are more likely to miss work, steal, cause conflicts, and perform below par than their non-drug-using counterparts. Pre-employment drug screening needs to be part of every hiring process.


A well-defined hiring policy isn’t simply finding a candidate, reviewing their resume, and interviewing them. Closing the loop with a thorough background screening process is vital in maintaining high-quality hires. By taking the time to design a compliant policy, find a reputable background screening partner, and commit to consistency, organizations will be rewarded with high-performing new employees, low turnover, and reduced workplace conflicts.

Lisa May, VP Marketing & Business Development Data Facts, Inc.

Lisa P. May, VP Marketing & Business Development
Data Facts, Inc.