Career Woman

Background check benefits: Why to background check a future employer

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This guide outlines why the benefits of a background check go both ways, and can give you insights into a potential employer.

Accepting the wrong job can have very important consequences on your general wellbeing. A toxic job environment may have a harmful effect on your mental and physical health, and your financial livelihood. But how to make sure you are making the right choice if all you get are a few interviews? Freelancers perform a background check on their clients in order to verify data like their payment capacity. Why shouldn’t employees do a background check as well? Companies, like people, have digital footprints. So finding more information about a potential employer can be as easy as a few clicks.

Where to start with a background check

If you know the owner’s name, you can run an online background check. Go to Check People, input whatever information you have, and get a report in just a few seconds. In it, you’ll get access to public records (such as criminal records, sex offender’s status, and bankruptcy history). If you are on the hunt for a new job, Check People’s monthly fee includes unlimited searches, which could really come in handy (and you can cancel anytime). This type of background check is completely legal, and the person you are researching does not need to be informed about it, so your privacy is safe.

The first thing you want to know is that your future employer’s identity is true. This will show on your Check People report. Then, pay attention to details such as:

  1. Former employee lawsuits. While some may come from litigious former employees, you want to avoid working for someone with a history of mistreating their staff.
  2. Bankruptcies: A business owner who has gone through several bankruptcies is a risk. You never know when you can find yourself without a job.
  3. Criminal Convictions: Has your potential employer been convicted of fraud? Is he/she a registered sex offender? These issues may make the professional relationship very difficult.

Review sites

Review sites like Glassdoor are great to learn more about a company’s culture, work environment, salary ranges, benefits, and employee satisfaction. You can also find valuable information on professional networks like LinkedIn. If a former or current employee of the company is part of your network, reach out and ask for an honest opinion. Generally speaking, you can disregard the best and worst opinions as they may be biased. Focus on those in the middle as they tend to be more accurate. Checking a business’s social media profiles can also help you determine how they relate to angry customers or direct competition.

How a background check helps in job interviews

Doing a background check on the company you are applying for also shows your interest, increasing your chances of winning the position. Here are the ten most important things to know about a company before a job interview:

Company history and profile

As the expression says: play on Google! Most companies today have their own website, don’t just stay on “Who We Are”, find out when the company was founded, if it has branches, it is national/international.

Location and how would you get there

Locate the office of the vacancy you are applying for, if you can afford the time and cost of the journey. See how the neighborhood where the company is located, a company with restaurants and shops, such as banks, hairdressers, pharmacy, school, daycare, language schools, swimming pool, ice cream shop, bakery, close by has more advantages.

The owner

Basically, who are you making money for? Is it a person you would like to work with? Who do you believe can lead the company to greater success? Also see if the company is publicly traded, or if it belongs to another group of companies, if it has recently gone public on the stock market, etc. All of this influences the way the company is managed.

The president, executives and their boss/mentor

These details you can easily find in a background check on professional social networks such as LinkedIn or Lattes. You can find out the career path of these professionals and how they got to the position they are in. So you can also imagine what your day-to-day will be like working with these people.

The background check on products, services and customers

Knowing what the business produces and how it makes money is essential. Regardless of which position you will be working in, you must know what the company sells, how it sells, and to whom. What kind of products does it sell? Just one line? What are the product / service differentials? Where are they sold? What profile do customers have? Are they products for higher classes, lower classes or for companies?

Competitors

No matter how universal a company’s product or services are, there will be competitors working to be at the top. Even Google, which has practically become a verb that means “search online”, has competitors like Yahoo! and bing . The important thing is to understand who is the market leader, what are the differences between the company and its competitors, if any of the competitors or the company is launching an innovative product.

The company’s image

So far you’ve figured out what the company is like from the inside, but how is it seen by the media through a background check? What achievements and scandals are associated with the company? How does the company communicate with the media and resolve issues that come to the attention of the public? You will determine whether you will work with a company that knows how to handle tough times and respond to criticism.

Current marketing campaigns

In addition to social media, see i a background check where the company is investing its most current marketing campaigns. Do you see the brand on billboards, newspapers, social media? Do you agree with the way the products are being sold? Do you believe the campaign is succeeding? These are questions they might ask you in the interview.

Profiles on social networks and their audiences

In the same way that most companies have their own website where they keep information about their history and team, now it is also important for many of them to keep in touch with their audience through social networks, see where they are present and how they interact with his followers.

The company’s values, culture and objectives

Remember that by accepting the position, you will spend most of your week dedicated to achieving those goals and maintaining those values ​​within that culture. If you are not comfortable with any of these points that appear in a background check, you might want to think about whether joining this company is a good professional decision.

Before you accept an offer

The interview process is over, and you got an offer! Before you rush to accept:

  1. Determine if you need to negotiate your salary and/or benefits. Women are especially prone to avoid salary negotiations, to their own detriment.
  2. Ask about room for professional growth. Regardless of how tempting the offer is now, you can regret taking a dead-end job.
  3. Are you comfortable with the company culture? Do you like your potential coworkers?
  4. Will you have opportunities to learn?
  5. Talk about the transition and onboarding process, and ask if there is a probation process in which both parties can test the waters before making a final commitment.

Ask as many questions as you need. Remember that, once you have an offer, “the ball is in your court.” The company believes you are the best fit and trusts your abilities to fulfill the position. It’s time to negotiate until you are comfortable with the offer and job conditions. But don’t take too long. A company that extends an offer needs to fill the position as soon as possible, so if you take too long to answer or if your demands are deemed unreasonable, they may withdraw the offer.

Having as much information as you can find on a potential employer via a background check can also give you leverage to better negotiate your job conditions, so don’t miss any steps of the due diligence process.

 

About Nicole Moody

nicolem@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

Nicole Moody is widely recognised as one of the most senior and experienced communication professionals in Perth, Western Australia. She is the Managing Director of Perth-based Hunter Communications. Her extensive career has involved working in Australia and London in the highest levels of public relations, government and journalism. With her passion for communication and a commitment to achieving outstanding results for clients, Nicole has built her client base at Hunter to include some of Western Australia’s biggest brands and companies. Along with managing strategic communications issues, Nicole has advised on numerous ‘front page’ media issues, crisis management and recovery, and brand reputation and management. A highly experienced and results-driven communications manager, Nicole brings the same energy and passion that has made her a multi award-winner and leader in her field to every job and every client.

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