Background checks are conducted to help protect your business, your workers, and your clients. But what exactly are they and why are they so important? As a business owner or manager, it can be a bit complicated and overwhelming to figure out the entire process of the inner workings of a background check. As a start, the components of background checks should be broken down into simple pieces to help you understand what is covered during the process, its importance for a business, and which red flags to watch out for.
What it is
The basics of a background check at first glance are seemingly uncomplicated. The primary reason most employers run pre-employment background checks is to flag any criminal convictions in an applicant’s past. Sometimes, these criminal charges posit someone as dangerous, unreliable, untrustworthy, or otherwise not suitable for hiring. Other times, the charges are minor, out of date, or irrelevant to the job at hand. Either way, an employer deserves to have this information in order to make an educated hiring decision.
However, it is also important to note that the information received while conducting a background check cannot be used as an excuse to discriminate in any way. Discrimination using a background check can include a decision based on national origin, sex, religion, disability, genetic information, and age.
There are many reasons why a company should be interested in background checks and in particular, criminal background checks. Safety is essential to a company as it needs to consider the wellbeing of both its clients and workers. Furthermore, a company needs to ensure that the candidate has been honest in their disclosures and to verify good character of the potential candidate. Quite simply, some of the applicants you are going to meet during a pre-employment screening are dangerous. From violent criminals to sex offenders, there are individuals that you simply cannot risk hiring.
Furthermore, an estimated 50% of the population lie on their resumes. Most job applicants might as well be actors for how much they put on a performance during a job interview. The goal of any job searcher is to charm their interviewer and come across as a friendly, professional person. A background check can help you cut through the façade and find out who this person really is and more importantly, whether they are a person you want to hire.
Hence, background checks can be a valuable tool for selecting the right candidate fit every time. When used correctly, background checks can eliminate many future problems for the company. However, it is vital to ensure that a candidate meets the full requirements of each job opening and that the return on investment will be a good one for the company.
A background check can help achieve the optimal ROI by:
- Ensuring your candidate will be thoroughly screened, making sure the applicant does not have any judgements against their name
- You’ll be able to confidently present the candidate to the company and be able to negotiate more effectively because you will know who your candidate is
- It helps to avoid any liability for the company. For example, suppose you don’t run a background check on a person and you hire them for a truck driver position. They later get into an accident while on the job and cause a massive car pileup on the highway. The police at the scene arrest your worker for driving under the influence, and it turns out that person has gotten DUIs in the past. Because you didn’t do your due diligence and run a background check to make sure this person was a fit candidate for the truck driver job, you could be held liable for the accident
- You will be showing your applicants that you are serious about hiring the right person and that your goal is to protect your company from the risks that come with untrustworthy workers
How it should be conducted
The best possible way to conduct a background check is through a third-party company or service. This saves you time and manpower, and you can have peace of mind knowing that experts are thoroughly screening your applicants. This makes your criminal screening process more efficient while you focus on the work history and educational verification.
At the end of the day, conducting background checks are not just an option anymore in recruitment, they are a necessary part of being a responsible employer who wants to provide the very best candidate for their company.
Be 100% sure
In a perfect world, everyone would be able to trust each other and go off of one another’s word. Sadly, this just isn’t the case. A lack of background checks or even poorly completed checks could lead to potential crime, injury, or monetary loss within the company. At the end of the day, you have the right to know about the candidates you are about to engage in a legal relationship with.
Quite simply, you can’t be as thorough as possible without running a background check to learn as much about an applicant as possible. So, unless you want to be doing the interview process again in a few months when your hire doesn’t work out, run background checks to make sure you are making smart decisions. You won’t be sorry.