The purpose of background checks
Thursday, March 07, 2013
By Al Firato
The success of recorded human civilization has been built in part upon individuals living and working in harmony with one another. The modern world of the 21st century is far removed from the tribes and clans of ancient history but individuals still need to work together in order to accomplish survival objectives.
Then, as now, the social unknown was and still is that of human nature. All of the people on our globe are uniquely different while at the same time quite similar. Social harmony can be either cultural or legislated, but both formats are built upon individual decisions and choices in life. Ultimately we are responsible for those decisions and the choices that we make throughout our lives, be they good or bad. No amount of social tinkering or denial will ever change that fact.
This benchmark of our demonstrated behavior is measured as character. In earlier times when communities were small and our nation was less mobile it was difficult to hide personal actions and a reputation. Today’s diverse world is far different, requiring contemporary techniques because character still matters.
In recent years, the responsibility of employers to hire people who are not dangerous or violent has been heightened by the tort, negligent hiring. Nationally, the courts have ruled that employers owe a special “duty of care” to employees and third parties (e.g., customers or clients) to protect them from the harmful, intentional or criminal acts of their employees. There is no plausible defense for an employer who fails to take reasonable steps to conduct employment background checks on prospective employees.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics Survey of State Criminal History Information Systems 2008, 65 million U.S. adults (27.8 percent) have had at some time in their life a criminal history.
Hence, the true purpose of background checks is to protect your employees and your business, while carrying out your moral and legal responsibilities.
An employer must protect their business from the predatory actions of a small few potential employees. During the interview process, the employer is forced to view the puzzle of the applicant with only the limited images supplied by the applicant. Legal and compliant pre-employment background screening enables an employer to make an informed hiring decision based upon demonstrated behavior and facts. When utilized correctly, pre-employment background checks promote safety and security in the workplace by supplying the missing pieces of the puzzle.
Not every applicant is qualified for every position. A criminal history of assault might preclude an individual from an unsupervised position. Convictions of theft or embezzlement create a lack of trust in an employer’s mind. Employees with an illicit drug habit do experience a higher rate of work-related accidents, increasing Worker’s Compensation rates. Ignorance of the facts is no defense in court, and usually will result in an empty bank account that can destroy any business.
While we are a redemptive society, good business sense dictates and requires proper due diligence in hiring. The solution is simple; do it right the first time and legally hire the most qualified people to grow your business. Hire for character, the kind that you can be sure of.
- purpose of background screening