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Should Your Business Conduct Background Checks?

— June 14, 2023

Background checks can be a legal requirement if you’re in the business of taking care of the needs of vulnerable members of society.

It’s easy to assume that a resume and an in-person interview are enough to know someone is suitable for a position within your business. The applicant might have the necessary skills, qualifications, and educational background and might have seemed professional, personable, and charismatic in meetings. 

However, in many situations, you’re typically only seeing what a prospective employee wants you to see, and there are no guarantees that the version of them they’ve given you is actually who they are. If you’ve never thought about conducting background checks before hiring new employees, the following benefits might have you considering it in the future. 

Identify False Information and Potential Fraud

Your business might decide to perform background checks with the help of service providers like Diligence International Group to identify any potentially false information or even fraud. Companies offering background checks can determine whether applicants have falsified information, such as where they went to school and past employers. 

You might even learn whether someone you saw as your ideal applicant is using another person’s identity to gain employment. It’s better to find this information out before you hire someone than after you’ve already welcomed them into your business and provided them access to confidential business information. 

Protect Yourself, Your Team, and Your Business

Someone looking perfectly adequate for your business on paper doesn’t always mean they have a perfect record and will positively contribute to the health and safety of your workplace. If someone has a criminal record related to the work they’ll be performing in your business, there’s a chance they can put your business, you, and your employees, at risk. Requesting a background check might prevent this from being a problem. A service provider can look for convictions and bring them to your attention so you can make an informed hiring decision. 

Protect Your Customers

Sadly, not all business employees will put your customers first. Instead, some workers will be deceptive and dishonest, committing fraud and theft that can have severe repercussions for your customers and destroy their trust in you. 

Out of the more than half of employers who conduct background checks before hiring someone, at least 86% do so to protect their employees and customers. Background checks, including credit reports, can highlight a history of theft, embezzlement, dishonesty, and fiscal irresponsibility. 

Comply With Laws

Elderly couple holding hands; image by Gert Stockmans, via
Elderly couple holding hands; image by Gert Stockmans, via

Background checks can be a legal requirement if you’re in the business of taking care of the needs of vulnerable members of society. Failure to undertake a background check might put your clients or customers at risk and even expose you to legal action if something should happen due to you not learning more about your employees. A number of industries can require background checks, including: 

  • Childcare and education
  • Government
  • Banking and financial
  • Restaurant
  • Retail
  • Transportation
  • Healthcare 

If you’re in one of these industries, or you’ve been told you need to perform a background check, it’s paramount that you follow the guidelines and instructions you’ve received to avoid possible repercussions. 

Improve the Quality of Your Candidates

Many employees can struggle with finding suitable people to fill their vacant positions. HR teams can spend countless hours sifting through resumes from people with inappropriate skills or unsuitable criminal records. 

However, background checks might improve the quality of your candidates if you make it known that you’ll be performing them as part of the screening process. Candidates might be less likely to apply if they’re unsuitable for a position, especially as important information about their backgrounds will be revealed. 

Decrease Employee Turnover

Many things can contribute to a decreased employee turnover rate, such as growth and progression opportunities, a healthy workplace culture, and excellent management. However, background checks might also be a factor. When you learn as much as possible about prospective new employees before hiring them, you can make an informed hiring decision and possibly reduce the risk of employing the wrong people. 

Reduce Workplace Violence

Workplace violence is surprisingly common, with an average annual rate of eight non-fatal workplace violent crimes per 1,000 workers over 16. While you won’t be able to prevent all instances of workplace violence, background checks might significantly reduce the likelihood.   

Background checks enable you to learn about possible criminal records relating to substance abuse, violent behavior, and reckless actions that might have contributed to their firing from previous businesses. 

Every business owner is well within their rights to conduct background checks, but not everyone believes they’re worth the cost. If you’re in the process of hiring new employees, you might consider conducting background checks, knowing there’s a chance you might enjoy some of the benefits outlined above. 

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