Implementing a pre-employment background check policy for your business can be a lot of work, from deciding which types of background checks to run, to finding the right third-party company to run them. However, implementing an in-depth employee screening policy will be worth the time investment based on just how much it will protect and benefit your business. Here are five of the best reasons to screen all of your employees prior to hiring them.
- You'll know who you are hiring better
It is important to know your employee before you hire them. Without a background check, you're limited to what that person tells you on their application, on their resume and in their interview. With background checks, you open up the web of information to include criminal records, employment and education history and more. Running background checks means not just taking your applicant at their word, but doing your own homework to make sure that they are someone you want to have involved in your life and your business.
- You will be able to pick out the lies on resumes
Lying or stretching the truth are common practices on resumes. Any job can look impressive on paper if an applicant wants it to, so doing background checks can help you to separate the facts from the fibs. In turn, resumes that pass verification checks can show you which applicants you can trust—and which you can't. Needless to say, dishonesty isn't the best way to start a professional relationship.
- You will comply with laws and regulations
Different national, state and local laws could bar your company from hiring individuals with certain types of felony convictions. By running background checks—and staying on top of the laws that pertain to criminal histories and background checks for your specific industry—you can ensure that your hiring practices are completely in step with all laws and regulations. Just remember that this point goes both ways – there are also laws and regulations on the books to keep employers from abusing background check information and using it to discriminate against those with criminal records. Familiarizing yourself with these guidelines, which mostly come from the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) or EEOC (Equal Opportunity Employment Commission), will keep your business from crossing any lines.
- You'll protect the company’s assets
In addition to protecting your employees, your customers and your own public image, background checks can also protect your business's assets. If you are putting a new employee in charge of the company finances—or even giving an employee a company credit card—then you need to know at least a little bit about how they handle money. Background checks and credit history checks can let you know if an applicant is fiscally responsible enough to be given such privileges.
- You'll hire people with the proper qualifications
Virtually every job description lists a number of qualifications that applicants are expected to meet, particularly in the educational and professional history spheres. Perhaps you want your applicant to have five years of professional experience in a specific field; maybe you are calling for a specific type of college degree or professional certification for all applicants. With background verification checks, you can make sure that an applicant has worked where they say they've worked, graduated with the degrees they say they have, and attained the professional licenses needed for the job at hand.
While they are most often associated with criminal history, background checks can be invaluable to your company on many levels. With so many applicants searching for jobs these days, and so much at stake with each hire, it's important to know as much as you can about a person before you entrust them with a position inside your company. Background checks will give you the tools you need to learn that information in a legal, ethical and effective way.
Michael Klazema has been developing products for pre-employment screening and improving online customer experiences in the background screening industry since 2009. He is the lead author and editor for Backgroundchecks.com. He lives in Dallas, TX with his family and enjoys the rich culinary histories of various old and new world countries.