If your mother says she loves you, check it out. This saying—popularized by the City News Bureau—is intended to remind journalists that a sense of familiarity with a source doesn’t excuse you from verifying the facts.
While a healthy sense of skepticism helps reporters ensure that stories are true, it’s also applicable to employers looking to hire new candidates: Just because someone impresses you in an interview doesn’t mean you shouldn’t double-check their story.
That’s why background checks are so important.
Unfortunately, according to a new CareerBuilder survey, there is a great deal of confusion regarding background checks—for both employers and the candidates they are considering.
Forty-three percent of employers have made a bad hire because they either didn’t conduct a background check or didn’t receive good information about a candidate. Employees are also at a disadvantage—46 percent said they don’t know what information employers are looking for when conducting background checks.
What Does This Mean For You?
Background checks are always necessary and shouldn’t just be conducted on a case-by-case basis. Background checks verify a candidate’s story and ensure they are qualified for the position. Given that one bad hire can cost a company $17,000, this is an expensive mistake to make.
But before you decide on a background check provider, do some research. Inaccurate information can not only cost you a potentially great employee, there could be legal ramifications as well. One in seven employers have faced litigation for not hiring someone because of information that was found in a background check. Make sure your provider complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which governs how background checks must be conducted.