Should You Run Pre-Screening Checks on All Employees?

Julie Shenkman
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If your company doesn't run background checks on prospective employees, you are missing out on an opportunity to avoid bad hires and protect your reputation. The right screening tactics make it easier to identify red flags and decide if you really want to hire certain candidates. If you still aren't convinced that background checks are a good idea, here are five reasons why you should be doing them.

1. Enhanced Safety

Employees and customers deserve to feel safe when they are on company property. If you don't screen candidates thoroughly, you have no way of knowing if one of them has a history of violent behavior. Background checks turn up convictions for assault, battery and other violent crimes, giving you the information you need to make hiring decisions with safety in mind.

2. Improved Reputation

Everything an employee does reflects on you, even if you don't condone the behavior. If you hire someone who attacks a customer or gets physical with other employees, it reflects badly on your company. If the incident gets enough coverage, your company may even lose customers or end up on the receiving end of a lawsuit. Performing background checks on every potential hire is a good way to avoid this type of bad publicity.

3. Financial Savings

It costs a lot of money to find the right employee for the job. You have to advertise the position, take time to interview several candidates and spend several weeks training the new employee. With all of the expenses associated with hiring, you don't want to make the wrong decision and have to start the process all over again. Conducting background checks makes it easier to determine if a candidate is the right person for the job.

4. Information Verification

Checking criminal records is a good way to avoid bad hiring decisions, but you should also be checking every candidate's employment history and professional credentials. It's not unusual for applicants to embellish or outright fib, so it's important to verify as much information as possible. Ask for degree transcripts, or contact past employers to conduct reference checks. If necessary, contact the professional licensing body for your industry to make sure each candidate has the right licenses and certifications.

5. Legal Compliance

Some industries are closely regulated, so it's important to conduct background checks to make sure your company is in compliance with state and federal laws. If you plan to hire an attorney, for example, you need to check with your state's bar association to ensure your top candidate is licensed to practice law in your state.

Some candidates feel background checks are too intrusive, but you have to do what is best for your company. Every time you hire new employees, you should at least conduct basic reference checks to verify the information on their resumes. For best results, conduct thorough background checks to ensure you don't make a bad hire.

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