Published on January 8th, 2020
Background checks have become a standard part of the hiring process in businesses of all sizes and across all sectors.
It is often the very last step before the potential hire is offered the job. Some wonder about the rationale behind this now nearly universal practice.
Once a candidate has been interviewed and their references checked, why do most employers take this final step? It is for more reasons than you may think.
1. Potential Theft
For many employers, the main concern is whether the potential employee can be trusted with unfettered access to valuable company assets.
A criminal background check will let the employer know if there is anything in the candidate’s history that might be a red flag.
Insider theft not only costs companies money but also costs them time and resources. Eventually, it also means a terminated employee, which has costs of its own.
2. Safety of Others
Smart businesses are always watching out for the safety of employees and customers. Employees are a valuable asset, and customers are what keep businesses running.
Companies also have a particular legal responsibility to be intentional about not exposing employees, customers, vendors, and visitors.
The wrong hire could create an unsafe working environment. Using background check software allows the employer to determine if there is anything in the candidate’s past that could lead to increased safety risk to others.
3. Maintain Integrity
Most of us like to see ourselves as good judges of character. We can get lulled into believing that our interview skills and other hiring tools will help us find only the most competent and trustworthy people.
But many organizations have been burned by hires who looked perfect upfront yet failed to be entirely forthcoming about their past.
A background check is, in this case, just one last check to ensure your interview instincts and other filters are working as they should.
4. Avoid Negative Publicity
In today’s world of social media and endless news sources, companies must constantly guard their reputations. The bad publicity caused by the actions of an employee can do irreparable damage to a company’s image and reputation.
Companies must be more diligent than ever in the hiring process. Background checks are another means of doing everything possible to avoid the negative consequences of a poor hiring decision.
5. Increased Applicant Quality
Organizations that perform background checks on job applicants will find the word quickly gets out. When that happens, certain people who aren’t willing to be upfront about their past may think twice about applying.
Those who may have a criminal history will likely not apply unless they feel comfortable sharing their past with their potential employer.
The knowledge that a company is serious about safety and integrity may also lead to more applications from prospective employees, who are also concerned about those issues in their workplace.
It would be nice to live in a world where we can trust every word written on a resume or application, and every word spoken in an interview.
However, experience tells us the verification available through background checks is the only way to reduce unnecessary stress, protect our business, employees, customers, vendors, and guests.