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Why are background checks important?

Why is it important to screen my employees? Why should I use a background check?

Generally, an employer that fails to investigate the background of an applicant whom they hire for a risk-sensitive position may be liable for negligent hiring or retention if the employee is later involved in serious misconduct or illegal activities. Punitive damages for those cases can run into millions of dollars. Consequently, the time and money you might "save" by not doing background checks are only a drop in the bucket compared to what you might be required to spend to defend yourself against a negligent hiring lawsuit.

Performing a background check is your opportunity to verify the information provided by your job candidate. It can also reveal information that was either mistakenly or intentionally omitted - such as residency in other regions where a criminal record might be located. These reports promote a safe and profitable workplace and are a useful risk management tool that has been proven to reduce the odds of a bad hire.

Background checks also help confirm dates of attendance and degrees or certifications earned and can provide specific information about prior employment.

There are seven compelling reasons to run Background Checks on all job applicants:

  • To provide a safe workplace for employees and customers
  • To hire the most qualified people who will help to grow your business, not to destroy it
  • To minimize exposure from employee liability by practicing “due diligence” in the hiring process.
  • To encourage honesty in the application and interview process.
  • To discourage applicants with something to hide
  • To eliminate uncertainty in the hiring process
  • Relying on instinct alone is not enough!

The bottom line your applicants' history will go a long way in predicting their future behavior, and a thorough employee background check helps you make an informed choice. Having a background screening program in place will encourage applicants to be more forthcoming about their behavior history.