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The importance of background checks when hiring new employees

Feb 19, 2015 Quinn Thomas

The importance of background checks when hiring new employees

Hiring new employees can be a daunting process. When managers begin to think about the undertaking they have to go through for each candidate, it can be tempting to consider skipping background checks.

Some employers have gone so far as to review credit consumer credit reports to evaluate the trustworthiness of candidates. Businesses need to focus on the history of an applicant to prevent any risks, so it's difficult to blame them for being so thorough.

Why background reports are important to review

Background screening is a crucial step in the hiring process that no manager should skip. According to The Background Investigator, companies that do not use them are at risk for hiring complete strangers in the workplace where they may have access to a variety of sensitive information and items.

"That [person] has access to your customers, your cash, your IT - everything," Lester Rosen, founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources told BusinessNewsDaily. "It would make as much sense to do that as it would to walk down the street and give the keys to [your] front door to a total stranger just because when you talk to that stranger, they look good or sound good."

However, despite the necessity, background checks are sometimes only an option for some corporations. Most applicants who pass background checks are of no risk, but The Background Investigator mentioned that companies can potentially hire an employee who may be a huge liability for the business if they avoid using reviewing candidates' histories.  Background reports can discover a variety of factors, including criminal records, sex offenses and bankruptcies. Third-party firms are available for screening employees, so organizations hardly have to worry about initiating the complicated process themselves and overstepping legal boundaries. Recently, Uber, a personal transportation service, realized the importance of background checks after various employees allegedly sexually assaulted customers, according to TechCrunch. It began using a third-party service for screening potential candidates after public criticism. While this is certainly an extreme, it's an example of why it's so crucial to review employees before they become involved with a company.

How background checks should be used to hire - or not
Employing someone depends on information and instinct. BusinessNewsDaily recommended that hiring managers who are worried about the cost of background checks think about how much money they could lose with a worker who causes trouble on the job.

The source discussed how to determine whether to hire an applicant based on past criminal history. It can be a hard decision, as having a criminal record doesn't always disqualify individuals from being employed with the company.

"Having five speeding tickets in the past two years may be a valid reason to not hire a delivery driver, but their misdemeanor vandalism conviction 10 years ago probably is not," Mark Briggs, an attorney from Arizona-based Briggs Law Group, told BusinessNewsDaily. "If the employer has inappropriately relied on something like an arrest report to deny an applicant a job, they can be in big trouble."

Looking for the perfect candidate for a position is a complicated process, but it's important to do a background review to have a better evaluation of any applicant.