We’ve all heard plenty of recruitment horror stories. We also all know how much time and money goes into onboarding new employees. While it does not all come down to background checks, sufficient screening processes can help you avoid making bad hiring decisions on the fly.
Background screening is about so much more than just confirming whether someone has a conviction or shoddy financial history. The benefits of conducting checks include reducing the chances of employee dishonesty or negative publicity and even the loss of property.
There is a myriad of options out there. Which checks you opt to conduct would depend greatly on the industry and role you are recruiting for. So, before we delve into the various checks you could be doing, here are the top 5 reasons why Employee Background Checks are so important:
1. Compliance: understand who you need to check
There’s no getting around compliance. And you need to make sure that your recruitment processes are meeting all the prerequisites. Many industries are legally required to perform certain background checks. Roles in finance or aviation, for example, as well as anything governmental requires stringent background checks. Equally a role with financial responsibility, such as a Finance Director or Chief Financial Officer, will potentially require a detailed background check.
2. Security: guarding your business against threats
The more people you hire, the greater the odds of accidentally hiring someone who doesn’t fit within your ethics framework. You just don’t know what you don’t know and you could be placing your company’s assets at risk. Conducting the necessary checks can help you gain better insight into the people accessing your IP and physical assets and identify people with a propensity of dishonesty faster. Not to mention the fact that without the proper checks, you may find yourself in a position of legal liability if someone you hire causes harm to a third-party.
3. Brand: protecting your reputation
The threat extends far beyond the usual “company hires criminal” example, to cases like social media outbursts and actual criminal activity within or around your business. Not to mention those incidents where mainstream news gets wind of the fact that a professional has fake credentials.
With background checks, you’re more likely to spot the red flags or obvious issues instantly, giving you the opportunity to make informed decisions and mitigate risks that you may not otherwise have been aware of.
4. Safety: you owe it to your people
This is a case of “knowledge is power…” Without background checking an individual, how can you be sure you’re not bringing someone dangerous into your business? Someone with a serious criminal conviction or a history of bad behaviour could pose a threat to you, your staff, and your customers. It doesn’t mean that people don’t deserve a second chance, but you don’t want to inadvertently hire someone who has a fraud conviction, for example, but has not declared it to you. Their conviction may not be the issue, but their lack of transparency sure is.
5. Identify: catching bad hires
Unfortunately, not every hire you make is going to work out and whilst background screening isn’t going to eliminate this, taking the time to conduct reference checks will help you learn more about the candidate before they join your team. This includes whether they really have done the job before, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.
Can you afford not to complete background checks….
With advances in tech, background checks can be highly cost-effective (not to mention the fact that they could save you a significant amount of time and money in crisis management etc.). And, depending on the checks you’re requesting, they are often turned-around quickly too. The only question that remains is therefore not whether you can afford to do the necessary due diligence through background checks, but whether you can afford not to?