Pre-Employment Background Screening Information

Background screening is now a standard practice in many human resources departments around the world. As the need to hire and retain the right individuals is becoming ever important, many HRs are now turning to background checks to inform their decisions. As such, before hiring or promoting employees, many HRs commission thorough educational, professional and criminal background checks.

However, there are a few who still question the efficacy of background checks. They wonder what all the fuss is about. “Why should we spend our money to check someone’s background?” they ask. Well, if you are such a person, here is why most organisations how consider background screening to be a sound business practice:

Hiring the most qualified candidates – When carrying out recruitment, you want to hire the best candidates for the job. You want someone with the right academic achievements, work experience and character attributes. The only problem is that people often lie in their CVs or résumés. A background check can enable you to not only verify a candidate’s claims, but also weed out those frauds.

Guaranteeing security of your assets – Whoever you hire will likely have access to your valuable assets such as expensive machinery and valuable information. To guarantee the security of such assets, you need to hire someone who is trustworthy. Employees have been known to steal company assets, leak classified information to the press and even sell trade secrets to competitors. Screening the backgrounds of potential employees can safeguard against hiring such people.

Protecting your employees and/or clients – When you hire someone, you essentially entrust them with the safety of fellow employees and managers. Depending on the nature of your business, you may be entrusting them with the safety of your clients as well. As such, the last thing you want is to hire someone with a history of violent or criminal behavior. There have been documented cases of employees assaulting, verbally abusing, raping or even murdering other employees or clients. A background check can help to weed out people with a history of unsavory or criminal behavior.

Avoiding litigation and sanctions – Hiring the wrong person can cause you to get sued. If your employee hurts fellow employees or clients, then you’ll most likely be liable. If it turns out that the employee had a criminal background, you can get sued for negligent hiring.

Some countries or industries have sanctioned or blacklisted individuals who are not supposed to be hired under all circumstances. For instance, in the US, there is the medical sanctions list. Hiring sanctioned individuals can lead to severe consequences (e.g. fines, suspension of licenses, disqualification from government contracts, etc). Background screening can protect you from such problems.

Protecting your reputation – We live in an era of 24-hr news coverage. As such any fallout resulting from a wrong hire can quickly become a hot news item. Also, the sheer pace with which news travels means that the slightest mistake can quickly become a PR disaster. Therefore, if you hire negligently, you can end up soiling a reputation which has taken years or even decades to build. Ultimately, background screening is one of the best measures for protecting your brand, image and reputation.

In a nutshell, background screening can not only enable you to hire or promote the right people, it can also save you from the negative consequences of hiring the wrong ones. The only thing which you need to do is ensure that the background checks are carried out thoroughly, professionally and legally. For this, you need to hire a reputable background screening company. Otherwise, carrying out background checks sloppily can actually be more dangerous than not carrying them out at all.

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