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Top 5 Reasons Why Pre-Employment Background Checks Are Essential

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Pre-employment background checks verify an applicant’s criminal history and other information like previous employment, education, professional licenses, and personal references. They also check out a candidate’s social media activity and online presence. A thorough background check can uncover dangerous criminal records that should disqualify an applicant. This protects your business from negligent hiring lawsuits.

It Saves You Time

Imagine welcoming someone into your team only to realize they’re not who they claimed to be. That person might tarnish your company’s reputation, expose you to legal liability, or cause financial harm. Those are just some unwanted consequences resulting from mis-hires that could have been avoided through comprehensive background checks. A quick national criminal database search often returns inaccurate information, but a thorough, professional-grade background check can help uncover the truth. It can verify identity, criminal records (felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions, pending criminal cases, arrests that didn’t lead to convictions, sex offender registry listings, and government watch lists), employment history, education background and even government-issued credentials like driving records, and teaching or medical licenses.

Additionally, it can reveal false claims made by applicants, such as falsifying employment history with fictitious lengths of employment or inaccurate reasons for departure or fabricating degrees or professional certifications. That verification is essential to ensuring you hire the best candidate for your position and avoid negligent hiring lawsuits. It can also save you the cost of re-hiring and training an employee who may need to be a better fit.

It Saves You Money

Hiring the wrong person can cost your company big. Depending on the position, a good hire could positively impact team morale, productivity, and customer and employee relationships. A bad hire can also cost you training expenses, compensation, and recruitment fees if you must repeat the hiring process. A pre-employment background check verifies essential details about an applicant that they may not reveal in their application or interview. This includes criminal convictions that would disqualify them from a particular job, such as driving while under the influence or using illegal drugs. It can also verify the degrees and professional certifications they claim to have earned and confirm employment history. It is not uncommon for candidates to embellish their resumes and applications with false information. Often, this includes lying about criminal records and education credentials. A thorough background check will catch these discrepancies and save you from making a regrettable hiring decision in the future. This also helps protect your company from negligent hiring lawsuits.

It Fulfills Due Diligence And Avoids Liability

A background check can unearth information a candidate may not divulge on an application or during the interview. This information might include criminal charges, motor vehicle records, or credit history. While there are times when a spotty driving record or credit score will not impact the ability of an employee to do their job, this information is still critical to know. A pre-employment background check can verify a candidate’s education and professional licenses. This step is crucial for positions requiring substantial amounts of money or the handling of sensitive data. Additionally, a thorough pre-employment background check might involve calling former employers or colleagues to ensure the information on an applicant’s resume or application matches what they say they did or said during previous employment. This is a vital part of a background check and can help companies avoid hiring dishonest candidates, leading to negligent hire lawsuits. Moreover, the information obtained by a background check might uncover a person’s biased worldview or other red flags that would not be apparent from an interview.

It Prevents Dishonesty

Employers have a moral and legal duty to vet employees for criminal, civil, and financial records. Verifying education, work history, and other claimed credentials is also essential. Dishonesty in the workplace is a considerable problem, hurting the company’s reputation and bottom line. Employee fraud accounts for up to 5% of business failures and can cost a company millions in lost revenues. Moreover, dishonesty affects staff morale and productivity, negatively impacting the company’s image in the market. A background check can reveal blatant lies that applicants put on their resumes or job applications, including exaggerated employment and educational histories. It also can uncover drug abuse issues, such as prior convictions for possession and distribution of illegal drugs. 

It Prevents Unwanted Turnover

Involuntary turnover can be expensive due to retirement, moving, or wanting a career change. Replacing a worker takes time, money, and energy that could be better spent on growing the company. Performing pre-employment background checks can help companies identify and assess potential risks before making an employment decision. Background checks can include verifying identity, criminal records (if permitted by law), educational background, professional certifications, driving history, and credit reports. A criminal record check can include checking for felony and misdemeanor convictions, pending cases, arrests that didn’t result in a conviction, and deleted records. Similarly, a credit report can be used to verify an applicant’s financial status and debt level to ensure they can meet payroll obligations. Some states and cities have banned the box laws, which prohibit employers from asking about an individual’s criminal history on an application before a conditional offer of employment has been made.

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