Why Employee Background Checks Should Be Mandatory
by Arina Smith Business 10 July 2021
When you are looking to hire a new employee, there are a couple of necessary housekeeping items to get out of the way. One of the most important ones is running a background check.
Most businesses have it stated in their hiring policies about mandatory employee background checks, but some still don’t. This tends to be more common in small businesses, as running a proper background check can be timely and sometimes costly.
As a business manager or owner, you cannot afford to be lazy when it comes to running a background check. Take a look at why employee background checks should be mandatory for any business.
When you hire a new employee, one of the first things you need to get is proper identification. This could be a driver’s license, a birth certificate, a social security card, or a passport. Basically, you need appropriate forms of identification that verify an employee is who they say they are.
When you don’t verify someone’s identity, you risk hiring someone who may be committing identity theft. A common way to spot this is if the potential hire’s name or surname doesn’t match any documents submitted. This is a serious crime that should be reported to the proper authorities.
If lying about one’s identity wasn’t bad enough, people may also lie about their achievements, experiences, and skills. Now this one doesn’t carry the same weight as committing identity theft, but it doesn’t help your business if you hire someone that has lied about their qualifications.
Verifying someone’s credentials can be a more complicated thing to investigate. Sometimes you might not be able to tell someone’s actual ability until they’re already on the job. Calling someone’s references can help verify beforehand, especially if they are a former coworker. At the very least, you’ll be able to gauge someone’s character based on their references.
When you’re hiring a new employee, you should be wary if they’ve committed any crimes.
Now, just because someone may have committed a felony or misdemeanor or has even served prison time shouldn’t necessarily disqualify them from the job. If it’s a situation like a sex offender applying for a teaching job, that’s something you should avoid, but if it’s a case of one-time assault or battery, there might be some grey area.
What is concerning is if someone didn’t disclose a crime or the crime committed is far worse than they initially led you to believe. This is a far more problematic situation and can cause many issues for your business in the future.
Check For Other Red Flags
A background check allows for to check for any other red flags that could be a problem for your business. Some things you can find in a background check are a person’s credit history, medical or driver’s record, or if they’ve ever been evicted.
Having a few speeding tickets or some medical problems shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but again, it depends on if they were things that should have been disclosed or not. For example, if someone said they had a disability that affected their work performance, but they have no medical records to verify, that’s an issue.
Sometimes they might not have needed to disclose something in order for it to be an issue. For example, if they’ve been evicted multiple times, that can reveal this potential employee has some behavior issues or isn’t great with finances. Depending on the circumstances, that could be an issue for your business.
Background checks can feel like an unnecessary chore in your already busy schedule, but they’re essential.
By all means, all businesses should have mandatory background checks in place. It will help save you from dealing with any unnecessary headaches in the future and will ultimately help your business.