Whether you’re looking to hire someone or you’re looking for a job yourself, background checks are a part of the process. Most applicants and hiring managers usually feel pretty comfortable with each other after a couple of interviews – but background checks are an important part of hiring. They help employers confirm that a prospective employee has a history of being trustworthy, and would be a great (reliable) addition to the company. Hiring is one of the riskiest decisions a hiring manager or business owner makes. Applicants don’t tell all and don’t always tell the truth. Many surveys have confirmed that a high percentage of employee applications contain false statements. Let us now look at some of the clear benefits that employers can enjoy by conducting pre-employment background screening:
- Recruit top talent;
- Reduce employee turnover cost;
- Restrict the claims of negligent hiring.
By conducting comprehensive background checks on candidates, employers can find quality talent by safeguarding the reputation of the organization. Hiring top talent quickly is one of the basic requirements of an organization but that does not mean that you should recruit individuals who can prove to be risky for your organization.
Why it’s important to screen candidates?
One survey of 2,000 hiring managers revealed that more than half (58 percent) found false claims in resumes they reviewed. Similarly, one-third of the reviewers, 33 percent, found resumes that falsely claimed educational credentials. Another large category involves failing to disclose some important requested information. These patterns create risks for the employer, as they cause unwanted terminations and potential legal liability. Following are just a few reasons why it’s important to screen candidates to help identify potentially problematic and costly situations:
To Prevent Negligent Hiring
Unfortunately, negligent hiring lawsuits are on a big upswing. When you don’t conduct background checks, there’s no way to know if a candidate has been arrested for or convicted of assault. If you hire someone who has been and that employee harms someone else, your company can be held responsible for the bad hire.
When you hire people without checking backgrounds, you’re trusting blindly. Without checking, there’s no way to know whether the experience and credentials they claim are accurate. Hiring someone with false credentials might directly affect your existing employees. In fact, 95% of employers surveyed by Robert Half feel that a poor hiring decision affects the morale of the whole team. The survey also showed that managing a bad hire can take 17% of a supervisor’s time (that’s almost a whole day per week).
Most states require a criminal background check for anyone who works with children, the elderly, or the disabled. Failing to conduct a check on these employees could not only result in trouble at your business, but also fines or penalties, and damage to your company brand.
To Prevent Workplace Theft
Stealing money or merchandise are the two most typical forms of company theft. According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), a company’s employees are 15 times more likely to steal from them than some stranger off the street. Employees also make up 44% of theft losses at stores. Skimming (diverting business funds); fraudulent disbursements (billing schemes, inflated expense reports, check tampering); and embezzlement are just a few methods of theft and fraud that can be perpetrated by a dishonest employee. A thorough criminal background check will determine those applicants who have theft convictions, helping protect your business.
What are the consequences of optional Backgrounds Checks?
The consequences of not conducting thorough pre-employment background checks can be quite high. A study commissioned by the AARP considered the consequences of replacing any skilled worker. The report stated that replacing an experienced worker at any age can cost 50 percent or more of the individual’s annual salary in turnover-related costs, with increased costs for jobs requiring specialized skills, advanced training or extensive experience. The concept of replacement expenses included the following types of process disruptions and costs:
- Loss of productivity while a job is vacant
- Costs of management effort to recruit, interview, and select
- Loss of productivity from related or dependent jobs
- Loss of productivity as a replacement employee learns duties and gains effectiveness.
List of Things That Need to be Verified using Pre-employment Background Checks
- Criminal check
- Credit check
- Driving record
- Drug screening
- Education check
- Judgments or tax liens
- Past and present residence information
- Past employment verification and work record
- Professional licenses check
- Social Security Number (SSN) verification
Now, the question is how do you get all this information? You can do it yourself, but it is highly speculative unless you have access to the actual records. This is where hiring a third-party background screening partner like cFirst can save you time and money. Always confirm that the background screening partner, you select complies with the legal laws pertaining to background checks in your country. Also, do not forget to take the written permission from the candidates before conducting the background check as it is mandatory to do so as per the FCRA. In addition to this, a candidate has the right to view reports that are sent to the employer and challenge any negative information. Always remember, there are certain state laws and federal laws that limit the information that can be obtained legally or use to make a hiring decision.
Always know the rules before selecting the right background screening provider. Always keep a tap on the different laws applicable in your region when it comes to obtaining information from different background check reports.
The candidate brings a lot to the table than just the job skills. If you are looking to add these individuals to your team, ensure that you are aware of the legally useable information on a job candidate, not just what they put on their resume.
In the end, it has got to be said that pre-employment background check has today become a necessity for employers. It is through the screening process that you can get to know in-depth about the candidate you are going to hire which makes it easier to take an informed hiring decision. As the labor market continues to tighten and new legislation are introduced, it has become important for employers to use proper screening practices by implementing a consistent background screening policy for all the candidates. In today’s competitive recruitment field, a pre-employment background check has become the best thing to find out the real characteristics of the candidate in question and select the right talent for your organization. So, what do you say: Is pre-employment background check an option or a necessity?
cFIRST Think Tank is the team that researches and produces content for cFirst. This team comprises of seasoned content and digital design professionals and background screening industry veterans. Together we produce insightful blogs, infographics and reports meant for HR and background screening professionals.