Every employer wants to hire employees having the right skills set, experiences, competency, qualification and most importantly, the ability to do justice to the jobs. Nowadays, employers are increasingly focusing on pre-employment background checks in order to safeguard financial and legal risks of their companies. According to the U. S. Department of Commerce statistics, 30% of all business failures are due to poor hiring practices.
What would be the potential threats to your company if it does not perform pre-employment background checks? There may be many, but the greatest is that a bad hiring decision may impact your company for a long time. It may negatively affect your team morale and productivity as well as impact your client base and other stakeholders who interact with you on a daily basis.
The costs of time and resources required to replace an employee with a new hire – the costs of turnover – far more outweighs the cost of doing a thorough background check at the beginning itself. Also, you don’t want to invest other employees’ time in training someone who has no future in your company. Crimescreen.com reported that “The Wall Street Journal said that 34% of all application forms contain outright lies about experience, education and the ability to perform essential functions of the job.”
Sometimes people don’t reveal the truth and it is not surprising. It is better to be safe than sorry. In these days of litigation and lawsuits for negligent hiring, it is vital for employers to perform pre-employment background as it helps employers detect criminal activity or history that otherwise could not have surfaced. You don’t want to be caught in a lawsuit by an unethical employee who you failed to judge properly or was a misfit.
At the same time, employers should also appreciate that applicants today have extensive legal protections and this entire business draws a lot of litigation and legislation. So, placing a blanket ban against eligibility of candidates who faced convictions in the past may draw flak and have legal implications.
For example, most companies see felons as unfit for candidature and would prefer them over others. Today, not considering a person who has committed a crime job-worthy because he will be a potential reoffender is a matter of discussion. Gone are the days when a potential offender failed to find meaningful employment.
Let’s look at a few best methods of pre-employment background screening:
Your company should develop a formal policy for pre-employment screening if it does not have anyone. The verification can be done internally or can be outsourced, depending on the requirements of your organization.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has guidelines that forbid employers to implement blanket rules that eliminate job applicants with criminal records from consideration. The idea is to be fair and give equal opportunity to everyone. Labelling applicants upfront as criminals may knock out ex-offenders fulfilling other credentials even before giving them a chance.
Be fair and consistent: Ensure consistency in processing the profiles of all candidates. The same background investigation should apply to two or more people applying for the same job role or title. You don’t want to be slapped charges of discrimination. Also, be fair and look for positive information in a background check instead of focusing on that one “apparently” negative or act. In the age of googling, it is easy to find information that may be disturbing or may throw you off about a candidate; who may otherwise be bright and promising