The mark of a good workplace environment is a place where all those under the employment of a company feel safe, and feel that they are in an environment where they can thrive. For this to be possible, the organization must make sure that the people that are part of that environment are competent and safe to be around. They should not be a potential risk to the safety of their workplace peers and the integrity of the company. Overlooking or neglecting to take information such as this into account can be detrimental for your organization. It is often the case that during the hectic hiring and recruiting process, human resource personnel fails to consider this; nonetheless, there should always be a thorough screening process for any potential recruit so that no threat is posed to the culture and integrity of the organization. This is where background checks come in handy.
What are background checks?
Background checks are essentially legal investigations carried out by employers and companies to look into the history of their employees or new applicants for jobs. The purpose is to verify the information provided by a recruit on an application form from a credible source. Background investigations can take many different forms. The type of background check that the employer chooses to focus on may be dependent on the nature of the job, but most often, organizations look into applicants’ criminal records or lack thereof; academic history, work history, credit history, license records, etc. If, for instance, the nature of the job requires working with heavy machinery, you may also want to look into the applicants’ medical and drug history.
More often than naught, applicants do not tend to provide falsified information about themselves and their past. It is, still, however imperative for you as the employer to leave no ends untied and make sure that no red flags exist in the past of the individual that is about to become a part of the organization.
What are the types of background checks in Australia?
The most commonly used background checks in Australia include:
1- Skill, Experience, and Qualification Verification
These tests are used to verify from credible sources whether the study and work information provided by the applicant is correct or not. Credible sources, in this case, refer to academic institutions the applicant attended, teachers, past employers, and the likes. This type of background check allows you to make sure you are hiring the most competent worker for the job.
2- Reference Check
In this type of investigation, you usually run the information provided by the applicants by the references listed in the CV or resumes.
3- Industry Employment Verification
This check is run to ensure that the applicant was not terminated from a previous workplace due to misconduct or the likes.
4- Australian Police Check
This is where you run your applicants’ names through the Federal Government’s National Police Checking Service database. If the results match the name you ran, police agencies will decide what information is related to your applicant and how much of it can be released per spent convictions legislation and/or information release policies. The Australian police check is one of the most sought after background checks in Australia. All checks are national checks. For example, a Police Check in Queensland is the same type of check as a national police check.
5- Financial Background Check
In this check, you are looking for the credit history of the applicant and checking to see if they have ever filed for bankruptcy by looking through Court Judgments, Securities, and limited bankruptcies. If such a claim exists, that may pose a threat to your company. It can include something like a Bankruptcy check by the Australian Financial Security Authority.
6- Identity/Work Check
This check involves verifying if the identity of the applicant is valid by looking through the National Document Verification Service (DVS) to match the provided information by the applicant. This check also includes making sure that the candidate has a work permit if they are a visa holder.
7- Court Check
A comprehensive court check includes running the name of the applicant through multiple online databases for all available cases, orders and decisions selected information from the Federal Court of Australia and all available state courts across such as Supreme Courts.
8- Watch Lists and Media Check
This check includes looking through upwards of 1,600 watch lists published by the international government that can be found with financial, regulatory or criminal authorities, that contain lists of people who may have been barred or given censures.
9- Driving History Check
This check includes running the applicants’ names against driving records of a specific state with the relevant Australian road transport authority. Information obtained may be the current status of their driver’s license and may also uncover driving offenses such as DUIs which can threaten your business if the nature of the job relies on such information.
10- Employment Medical Assessments
Usually, when employers run medical history checks for applicants, they look for information such as:
- Medical History
- Medical Examination that gives information about
– EyeSight (short, long and color vision)
– Cardiovascular system (blood pressure)
– Respiratory system
– Eyes, ears, and throat