The practice of conducting a background check on employees has become a common requirement for most companies. Every time a new employee is hired, the employer places its reputation, employees, and finances at risk. A solid background check is an excellent preventative measure that can save any business from significant legal problems, financial loss, and brand damage.
Many businesses outsource this task to firms that specialize in background checks. Huffington Post reports that the best background check companies should guarantee they will go back at least seven years when screening a prospective new hire.
1. Protect the company’s reputation or brand.
Employees have a huge impact on corporate image. In fact, some people might claim that the employees are the company. Customers judge a business by the service they receive from employees. If a company representative misbehaves at work, mistreating a customer or client, then the company’s reputation is harmed. Considering the amount of financial resources spent to build a positive brand reputation, the last thing that any business needs is an employee that is disrespectful or indifferent to customers. A thorough screening process may reveal a bad attitude before it is too late and the person is hired.
2. Minimize company theft and embezzlement cases.
A comprehensive background check will include criminal records. There is no excuse for a company not to find out whether a person has a criminal history. It is far too tempting to believe we know what a criminal looks like, but the truth of the matter is that you can’t interview a person and know whether they are honest.
What surprises many hiring managers is the number of people who have committed crimes in the U.S. Kiplingerreports that the National Employment Law Project claims that about 70 million people in the United States have a criminal record. That means about one-third of adults have committed a crime. There is nothing wrong with trusting a person and giving them the benefit of the doubt, but that does not negate the necessity of checking them out as a way to protect your company’s assets.
3. Prevent and lessen the number of lawsuits.
When an employee commits a crime or harms a client or employee, the employer can be sued. By throughly screening prospective employees, companies can identify high-risk applicants who are likely to become violent or steal a client’s financial information.
Even applicants who have been lucky enough to beat the system in the past may have a hard time running away from a problematic work record when their references are thoroughly checked. That is why it is important to talk to previous employers to see if a prospective new hire’s application is truthful. Asking questions about any disciplinary problems is recommended.
4. Protect clients or customers.
Companies have a responsibility to protect their clients physically and financially. That means if a customer walks into one of your stores, they should be safe. If one of your employees does a poor job of hanging a large fixture and it falls causing an accident, then the store can be sued. Equally terrible is the employee who steals a customer’s credit card number and sells it. Thorough background checks will minimize these situations.
5. Provide a safe work environment.
Employees have the right to expect a safe and comfortable work environment, both physically and mentally. In cases where employees are hired that are capable of harrassing co-workers or “going postal” and shooting up the workplace, employers are at fault if they could have foreseen this type of bad behavior. A basic background check can sometimes uncover mental instability or a bad attitude.
Background checks are a practical way to protect any company. Considering how easy it is to hire a company to provide this service, there is no good excuse for skipping this important procedure. A major way to manage corporate risk is to consistently use background checks to screen new employees. It is also a good idea to screen the background check company to be sure they are doing a thorough job.