|By Frances McCart,
Vice-President, Business Development at Eagle
For most of Eagle’s clients, extensive background checks are part of the onboarding process. Gone are the days when a client would accept reference checks and a simple criminal check. Due to increased privacy and security issues, along with global security standards such as ISO 27001, clients require extensive background checks that include verification of past employment (often for the past 5-7 years — this includes every contract a contractor may have held), education verification, and criminal checks. In addition, many organizations, specifically financial institutions, also require a credit check.
Some of these checks extend beyond Canada and include extensive international checks that take several weeks to complete. Due to the rigorous process involved with completing these checks, it is critical that contractors complete the intake forms properly and ensure that ALL data is accurate, properly aligning with past contracts and information found in your resume.
Varying details may seem minor, but we’ve seen these inconsistencies create huge headaches for independent contractors. First, it can extend the process, and ultimately the project start date, as companies keep coming back for additional information. We especially run into trouble when the in-depth security process follows up with past clients and insitutions. Some common issues have included:
- Project dates listed on the resume and the background check form not aligning with what the actual dates verfieid by the end client;
- Job titles on the resume and/or background check forms not aligning with what the client has listed; and,
- Education degrees and completion dates being different than what the contractor lists on their resume and background check form.
If the data comes back incomplete or false, the agency and the end client are allerted to the information discrepancies. Sometimes, and this is more often that case these days, contracts are then cancelled. Clients whose projects require the utmost integrity feel they simply can’t take the risk. If a person is willing to lie about their job title or education, where else might they cross the line.
Contractors are often rushed when completing this part of the onboarding process or they might brush off the importance. As we’ve learned, though, it is critical that contractors cross-reference the data in their contracts (you do keep them, right) and the information is found on their resumes and background check forms. A simple, honest error can make you appear unethical and lead to losing a valuable contract. Worse, your entire career could be affected by potentially being flagged for future contracts with the agency and the end client, all due to a preventable mistake that led you to providing false information.
As the saying goes, the devil is in the details so take the time to own your data and ensure its accuracy.