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Background Check

A Google Search is Not a Background Check

In spite of the headlines, horror stories and all the ink spilled over the effects of negligent hiring examples, workplace violence and other consequences of improper screening, I am still encountering business owners and hiring managers who say something like: “I googled them.”

A search engine like Google is a robust search for certain things; while it is better than nothing, it is nowhere near being a replacement for a thorough and legally compliant professional background check. The majority of information that comprises a good background checks is not out in the open at all, not in every jurisdiction or not indexed by search engines.

In addition, a good screening process and contrary to popular belief, is not limited to searching for prior criminal activity, stressing again that this part is not even taken care of with a simple search of the internet. Any due diligence would be pointless, if the screener has not first verified the identity, ID’s and credentials of the person they are looking into. Just look up the trend of identity theft, its effects and manifestation to get the point.

Not taking a holistic view, to insure you are screening in and screening out, would cheat your business into lost revenue or lost reputation, for making bad hires or rob it from the opportunity to hire the best candidates possible. You have to include other searches and tools including proper reference and credential checks, and depending on the tasks and responsibilities, Driver Motor Vehicle Records, Drug Screening, Credit Reports where relevant and additional steps as the importance and level of influence of the position increases.

While this is not an exhaustive list of reasons, I hope it serves as a reminder that proper background checks, proper screening and due diligence are a necessity and not just another luxury.

In in the book: The Business Immunity System-The Pitfalls & Side Effects of Data Handling, Privacy Issues, & Background Checks, Rachid Zahidi delve’s further to help you demystify this topic.

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