How common are pre-employment background checks?

The convergence of the post-9/11 security concerns and the online data revolution expanded access to reliable background checks beyond large corporations. Today, nearly 80% of all employers, big and small, perform some form of pre-employment background check on job candidates.

Pre-employment background checks must be conducted carefully and in compliance with privacy laws and regulations. Obtaining a candidate’s consent prior to performing any background check and ensuring the information is being used in a compliant manner is of utmost importance.

What does a typical background check consist of?

The typical background check varies depending on your industry and the specific requirements of the job you are recruiting for. For example, will the candidate be handling cash transactions or managing cash assets? Will they be interacting with clients and customers? Is the position entry level or senior level?

The purpose of a typical background check is to verify whether or not the candidate is being truthful about their past, their education and employment history, as well as ensuring that they are the best fit for the job. Criminal record searches and Identity Cross-Checks are the most common background checks, though we highly recommend these checks alongside reference checks, and education and employment verifications to ensure your candidate has the skills, traits, and qualifications needed to be successful in the job. Our core services include:

How much does background screening cost?

It all depends on how much breadth and depth is desired in a background check. Background check reports vary from containing just one service to containing five (5) or more services. Again, this is all dependent on the role being hired for. Depending on the complexity of the screening, the cost for such a check can range from under $50 to several hundreds of dollars. For more information on available services or recommended service package options, please contact us directly.

Does a job candidate have to consent to a background check?

Yes. We are committed to excellence and the protection of the privacy of individuals. As such, we adhere to Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA); this includes using personal information only for reasons specified on candidate consent forms. With this in mind, every one of our services requires informed candidate consent before we proceed. Sterling Talent Solutions is leading the way in consent collection with our online, paperless consent solution, eConsent.

What kinds of background checks deliver the best results?

Again, this depends on how much breadth and depth is required and the position being hired for. We work with our clients to understand the needs of their organization and to provide business-best recommendations regarding service packages.

How should we determine which background check is right for our company?

Industry and job requirements provide a good starting point for determining which services are right for now. We work with our clients to understand their needs and to provide recommendations based on our industry experience. Once recommendations have been made, it is up to your organization to make a decision; clients are encouraged to consult with their own legal or compliance advisors before making a final decision.

How can I really verify a candidate’s work and education history?

Sterling Talent Solutions verifies a candidate’s employment history, including previous job titles and job descriptions, as well as start and end dates with our Employment Verification service. Our highly trained team of verification experts contacts former employers to verify employment information, including the accuracy of the information on the candidate’s consent form.

Likewise, our verifications experts also contact former educational institutes to verify the candidate’s education and/or credential information that was provided on their consent forms.

How can I make sure my background checks are legal?

At Sterling Talent Solutions, compliance is our expertise. Our background checks are designed to help you comply with privacy and human rights legislation, but you need to understand the services and the rules to be sure you are using them correctly. Our compliance team always stays on top of current and pending legislative and regulatory changes. When changes occur, services are updated accordingly and clients are kept informed to ensure you are aware of your obligations. In addition, through our global and Canada-specific webinars we provide updates and explanations as well as best practices for compliance with privacy, human rights and other relevant legislation to help our clients stay informed. Furthermore, most of these webinars qualify for HRPA credits.

Should an employment background check be done before making a job offer?

Some aspects of a background check, such as reference interviews, can be done at any point in the recruiting process provided you have notified the candidate and obtained their consent to do the check. However, Sterling Talent Solutions recommends that any background check that may reveal sensitive information that is protected by human rights laws, such as a criminal record check, be done only after a conditional offer is made.

How long does pre-employment background screening usually take?

We commonly use the term “Turnaround Time” to describe how long a background check takes. The times vary significantly based on the types of searches conducted in the check. Through our client website, authorized users can log-in to view their in-progress candidate files. As each service is completed the results are posted online so that you do not have to wait for the final report to view individual service results.

What information is required for an accurate, thorough background check?

The information required for a background check varies depending on the services being conducted. With our eConsent solution, candidates are requested to only provide the information required to complete the ordered services; smart-fields ensure that required fields are not left blank.

What if my background is being checked? What are my rights?

You have a right to access your information, dispute its accuracy, and be told its sources and to whom it has been disclosed. Your information may be protected by federal or provincial privacy laws. For more information about our privacy practices and your rights, read our privacy statement.