Dec 10, 2019 12:52 AM EST

Should You Conduct a Background Check on an Employee?

Should You Conduct a Background Check on an Employee?

(Photo : Should You Conduct a Background Check on an Employee?)

Running a background check on an employee may initially seem extreme but it is actually standard protocol in most recruitment processes. According to several surveys carried out around the US, with the participation of HR experts in every field, over 95% of companies conduct employee background checks on their current and potential staff. 

If you are hesitant about looking into your employees' backgrounds, think about the consequences for your company if something were to go wrong. It would be ideal if everyone simply told the truth on job applications and resumes. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. This means that what occasionally seems like harmless white lies can potentially become a dangerous threat to your business. 

The time and cost alone expended in hiring and training a new employee is reason enough to ensure that that person is who they say they are. Not to mention the resources spent in looking for a replacement if it doesn't work out well. Additionally, in the worst-case scenario, your business could even suffer a lawsuit thanks to a bad hiring decision.

Can a Background Check Help Recruitment?

It isn't all doom and gloom either. Background checks can be a good way to look for positive information to help make a decision between well-qualified applicants

It is essential to do broad background checks and look into a range of aspects on every potential candidate. These elements include employment and education history to certify that the person is qualified. The background check should also search for criminal activity to make sure the applicant is suitable for the role on offer. A brief look into their driving history is also beneficial to ensure they can perform the necessary tasks. Finally, a general view of social media will help the HR team find out if the person fits in with the company's values.

For extra protection against any liability lawsuits, it is better to stay informed about your employees. Also, a thorough background check on any new staff member helps keep out anyone who may endanger others in the workplace. 

How To Run a Background Check on an Employee

There are rules to be considered when it comes to conducting your search. It is vital that your company complies with regional, state, federal, and employment laws starting with a signed release form. 

For different roles, naturally, you may need to research different aspects of a person's background. However, candidates for the same role must be investigated equally. Each applicant must receive the same treatment. You will be dealing with sensitive information, so there must be no discrimination

Given the legal implications of running a background check on an individual, it can be beneficial to get professional assistance. There are many companies that specialize in processing background checks and relaying the relevant information to you. This way, your company does not have to get involved in the legalities of handling personal data or how to access certain details. Businesses that offer these services pride themselves on being accurate and efficient. They are also licensed to search for information that is not publicly available.

Make an Informed Decision

If you do choose to conduct a background check on a current or potential employee, it's important to keep an open mind and communicate with them. You should not hide your activities from your employees because this could be grounds for someone to sue the company. However, to ensure a safe and secure workplace and be thorough in your recruitment process, it is wise to make a decision based on a variety of information. It is also safe to say that you cannot simply rely on the information given in a candidate's job application.

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