Background checks have become an essential part of the hiring process. As a member of the recruitment team, it is your job to make intelligent and effective hiring decisions that will ensure the best possible outcome for the company. Hiring someone based on a cursory evaluation can sometimes lead to serious problems down the line, because aside from ending up with an employee who is not right for the job, you may also end up with someone who could compromise the company’s operations or end up endangering the safety of other employees—which can lead to possible legal issues such as negligent hiring lawsuits, as published recently in the Pinow website.
A background check, whether performed by a dedicated background check provider or a licensed private investigation firm, is crucial in determining important employment deciding factors, such as a candidate’s credit history, criminal background, and even aspects of their character and personality. It will also help you verify the accuracy of the information they’ve provided in their application.
Some companies are hesitant to incorporate such measures into their own hiring processes due to the possible legal implications with regards to hiring discrimination. But in most cases, the benefits outweigh the risks, and as long as proper implementation of pre-employment background checks is observed, there should be no problem with legalities.
Here are a few key reasons why background checks are crucial for recruitment:
Determine whether candidate is qualified for the position
Background checks can help employers determine whether an applicant is faking or overstating their credentials. Hiring an individual who is not a fit for the job can cause companies to waste valuable resources due to time and money they would have to spend in training that particular employee. This will, of course, include the company’s subsequent efforts to rehire and replace this same employee.
Protect the company’s reputation and organizational assets
All employees have the capacity to potentially ruin a company’s reputation, but even more so for high-level positions that involve more visibility and even media exposure, in some cases. Background checks can help you safeguard against reputation damage by allowing you to spot possible character defects and negative behavioral patterns.
If the job position constitutes any level of access to the company’s physical assets, proprietary information, or even important financial documents, it is important to perform a background check beforehand to avoid possible theft, destruction of company property, and even corporate espionage.
Safeguard against negligent hiring claims
Last month, two women claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Uber drivers and filed a negligent hiring case against the company. The lawsuit claims that Uber failed to conduct a thorough screening process and that had they been more thorough in checking the backgrounds of their respective employees, this incident would not have happened.
Dealing with lawsuits like this can be costly, not to mention damaging to the reputation of the company. Conducting proper background checks are even more important in these cases, as they help absolve companies of liability in the event of negligent hiring claims.
Ensure the safety of other employees
A candidate may appear perfectly pleasant during the interview stage, but that does not assure that this person will remain so for the rest of their stay in the company. Employers must always investigate candidates prior to hiring, as this will help them uncover anger management issues, hidden criminal records, or anything in their personal or professional history that suggests that they may cause harm to other employees.
Avoiding employee theft
According to recently compiled statistics, at least 75 percent of employees have stolen at least once from their employer, and 33 percent of all business bankruptcies are caused by employee theft.
Given the high possibility such occurrences, and how much it affects the businesses involved, it becomes even more essential to ensure that the company takes every available measure to avoid such instances.
Theft can also be done at the expense of other employees, so think of background checking as a measure to protect all employees within the company.
When performed lawfully and respectfully, background checking ceases to be a daunting part of the hiring process, but instead becomes a way of safeguarding the interests of all parties involved, and building the foundation of a good employee and employer relationship.