Most modern employers conduct employee background checks as part of their hiring protocol. A 2018 survey conducted by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) found that 95 percent of employers run background checks on all new hires. Consider that, in 2016, the Census Bureau estimated that there were 7.7 million employer establishments with at least one paid employee in the United States. That means 385,000 organizations do not run employee background checks regularly.
Should this five percent of businesses reconsider their stance on background checks? Here are just a few reasons why employee background checks are critical to every employer organization:
- Background checks help create a safer workplace. As an employer, you have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment for your employees. If you serve customers directly within your workplace—for example, if you run a restaurant, retail store, or client-facing office—your responsibility to ensure a safe environment extends to protecting the customers who enter your premises. Background checks can identify candidates with histories of violent or dangerous crimes, such as assault, homicide, or rape, helping your business to avoid a hire who might compromise the safety of the workplace.
- Background screening policies help avoid negligence charges. Consider Boy Scouts of America, a once-iconic organization that is currently facing tens of thousands of allegations from past members who say that they were sexually abused by troop leaders. For decades, the Boy Scouts did not conduct criminal background checks of their troop leaders. Not only did this lack of background checks compromise the safety of the Boy Scouts for kids involved in the organization, but it also left the nonprofit vulnerable to a massive number of lawsuits. Any employer that stumbles into a similar example of negligence in hiring can be held legally responsible for anything that happens because of that negligence. For example, if a cable company hires a convicted rapist to work as an in-home technician, and that person assaults a customer, the customer can sue the cable company for negligent hiring based on its failure to protect its customers.
- Running background checks ensures better hiring. Employee background checks don’t just concern criminal history. You can also vet and verify a candidate’s educational background, work history, professional licenses, and references. If a candidate has lied on their resume—whether by embellishing their past work experience or fabricating a college degree—knowing that information might completely change your perception of their suitability for the position. Verifying a candidate’s qualifications means making a hiring decision based on accurate and complete information, which helps ensure better hires.
A bad hire can damage company culture, render you liable for negligence, hurt your company’s public image, or leave you with an underperforming or unqualified employee. Using background screening tactics in hiring is the most reliable way to avoid these problems and set yourself up for a top-tier hire that pays dividends for years to come.
There is a reason why ninety-five percent of employers are already running employee background checks. If your business is among the five percent minority, contact backgroundchecks.com today to learn about the power of background checks.
About Michael Klazema The author
Michael Klazema is Chief Marketing Technologist at EY-VODW.com and has over two decades of experience in digital consulting, online product management, and technology innovation. He is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based backgroundchecks.com with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments.