There are a number of reasons employers conduct background checks on their job applicants and new hires. Many of these reasons can be consolidated down to one question—is the person being hired who they say they are? Does their character, skills and experience match reality? Are there things from the job applicant or new hire that have been omitted, inflated or “spun” which may pose a risk to the employer?
In most cultures, it is a common practice to exaggerate information about our past or our capabilities. After all, the hiring process is about making a good impression, thus minimizing weaknesses or negatives and accentuating strengths or positives. Pre-employment screening is a valuable tool to help employers assess the veracity of what is being represented.
A background check compares what a job applicant or new hire has disclosed to the employer which is then verified from source data providers. For example, an individual’s employment history is validated with data from prior employers.
The benefits of conducting Background checks include:
• Minimize the Risk of Workplace Violence – Personal Injury crimes (assault, battery, murder, sexual harassment) have an extreme adverse impact on an organization. Identifying potential issues beforehand helps ensure a safe work environment and mitigates the potential for negligent hiring lawsuits.
• Lower Employee Turnover – when the employer hires better suited and more qualified employees, employee turnover goes down. Reduced employee turnover results in lower recruiting costs and training expenses. Less vacant positions that occur less frequently lowers downtime, learning curve ramp-up and supervisor oversight.
• Improve the Hiring Process – effective pre-employment screening allows employers to streamline the hiring process and be more responsive to hiring managers’ needs and deadlines. When background screening is outsourced, the administrative burden is transferred to experts in research, data sources and results. A competent vendor will also help ensure FCRA compliance.
• Reduce Loss of Company Property – screening job applicants can reduce the risk of asset shrinkage and embezzlement due to employee theft. High integrity employees also minimize conflicts of interest issues.
• Improve Workplace Productivity – highly qualified new hires reduce the number of losses resulting from errors or accidents. They are more productive and efficient since their knowledge and skills match the job description and requirements.
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Each of these benefits or a combination of them justify the time, cost and effort to perform background checks on job applicants and new hires. It’s important to structure company policies and procedures that are legally compliant and achieve the desired results. The background check report should answer the question—is the person hired who they say they are? If not, modifications in your background checking approach may be necessary. $
(Note: Brad Moss is COO of Certifinder, LLC a leading firm in providing a full suite of employment selection and screening solutions. He can be contacted at: 801-373-5770 x202, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit their website at: www.certifinder.com)