Are Background Checks Necessary

By Michael Klazema on 6/12/2019

Why are background checks necessary? Are they an essential component of the pre-hiring process for every position?

These are questions that employers frequently ask, especially in small businesses. For companies with tight profit margins, the prospect of paying for background checks for every new employee is a tough pill to swallow.

The truth: background checks are necessary. Here are just a few reasons why.

Background checks are your best defense against bad hires

One thing that costs more than any background check is a bad hire. The process of posting jobs, recruiting candidates, conducting interviews, and dealing with a partial staff means that every time you need to replace an employee, you are spending or losing money. A bad hire is a bad investment, in part because you will likely need to repeat the costly hiring process again in a matter of months.

Background checks help ensure good hires. They look for violent criminal histories and other factors that might flag someone as a danger to your employees and customers. They verify resume information to help you hire qualified (and honest) candidates. They check references to tell you more about a person’s character and work ethic. These factors all improve the likelihood of a good hire and will cost you less in the long run than a series of bad hires.

Background checks are your best defense against negligent hiring claims

Let’s say you run a business that operates youth education and enrichment programs during the summer. You hire someone without running a background check only for that person to be accused of sexual misconduct by one of your students. When the police arrest your employee, they learn that he is a registered sex offender with convictions for similar crimes in his past. The parents of the victim sue your business for negligent hiring, arguing that you should never have hired the perpetrator based on his history.

Scenarios such as this one can destroy a business. They bring about huge legal costs and bigger settlements, and they are difficult to fight back against because the employer who failed to run a background check appears to be in the wrong from square one.

Even if a business can weather the financial impact of a negligent hiring suit, the negative public relations and branding fallout of the situation can be enough to kill a company. The best protection against negligent hiring suits is a robust background check strategy.


Background checks are a must for every business. The next time you find yourself asking, “Are background checks necessary?” remember to consider the dangers posed by bad hires. Background checks are an investment in good hires, the reputation of your brand, and the longevity of your business.

At, we can help you to develop a background check strategy that will give your business the protection it needs. Contact us today to get started.

Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • July 11 Under an innovative program that went into effect July 1, Pennsylvania will automatically seal many old criminal records. 
  • July 09 In October, the Georgia Long-Term Care Background Check Program will officially go into effect. Here’s what employers in the state need to know about the law.
  • July 04 Despite the failure of a full-scale legalization effort, New York state has reduced cannabis-related penalties and introduced automatic expungement.
  • July 02 Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina stopped fingerprinting new hires last July even though board policy requires fingerprinting during pre-hire background checks. The fingerprinting “pause” caused alarm in the Charlotte community.
  • June 27 In 2012, the EEOC published new guidelines instructing employers not to use blanket bans against applicants with criminal records. The state of Texas sued. Today, arguments continue in federal circuit court.
  • June 25 Learn the differences between infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies and what each run-in with the law means for a background check report.
  • June 25 A recent federal court ruling has called into question how employers should observe the FCRA when filling independent contractor positions rather than full- or part-time jobs. Many sections of the FCRA are only relevant if background checks are intended for “employment purposes.”
  • June 20 The ACLU has filed suit against the owner of an apartment complex in Virginia alleging discriminatory practices. The owner contends otherwise.
  • June 19 If you need to conduct a quick background check, you may be wondering: are background checks instant? At, we maintain several databases capable of generating instant background checks.
  • June 18 A recent audit in the Catholic Church conducted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops found issues with background checks for priests in multiple dioceses.