It’s often said the team you build makes or breaks your business. Therefore, taking steps to hire quality staff is critical. If you want to know more about a candidate’s character and skills, you can contact their former bosses or other references provided, but this is not always enough to make sure the person can be trusted with your company’s resources. Accordingly, it’s important to take steps above and beyond a conventional reference check to make sure your business is protected.
Moreover, certain aspects of your company can make you vulnerable. This is why background checks are imperative as a pre-employment screening tool.
Companies suffer from staff stealing goods or cash quite often. Security breaches open you up to all kinds of attacks. These are facilitated from the inside most easily. However, it’s far from the only way in which a poor hire can hurt you. Others include substance abuse and workplace violence. Then, there are sophisticated crimes to consider, such as fraud and identity theft.
All of these crimes can incur great damage, whether in terms of litigation, loss of reputation, or direct losses. Then, there’s the additional cost of hiring and onboarding new employees to replace the offender. In addition, there’s also the issue of termination, which can be a complicated process.
An Obvious Need for a Background Check
Candidates for positions that involve handling funds obviously need to be screened. Likewise, a travel company employee needs a clean driving record.
Pre-employment screening is a smart way to protect yourself, even when the need for such isn’t obvious. Businesses must carry out reasonable checks in order to protect other employees, vendors, and customers from violence, fraud, and theft.
Elements of a Background Check
The most important element is the criminal record check, which shows whether someone has committed a crime in the past, as well as the type of crime. Criminal background checks include screening for theft, violent crimes, and drug offenses. In addition, they show probation or prison time served. They are of paramount importance if your business is in the security industry or your clients’ safety is otherwise critical.
It is generally recommended to run a check on employees with privileged access, bookkeeping and accounting staff, and cashiers.
Identity verification is done to make sure the person is who they claim to be. It may involve an SSN trace and asking for multiple forms of photo ID.
Education references and job references must be investigated by all means. You’d be surprised at how often candidates lie about employment experience and credentials. You don’t want to miss revealing dishonesty, whatever the case may be.
A credit check will help the recruiter see how financially responsible the candidate is. You may want to know if they’re in debt, especially if they’ll have access to business funds and other monetary resources. A history of previous addresses is also part of the credit report. This can prove extremely useful in seeing how consistent your applicant is.
How to Screen Job Candidates Properly
Your applicants should be made aware that pre-employment screening is a standard part of the recruitment process. Each applicant should give written consent to the background check. Importantly, checks always have to comply with employment laws, privacy laws, and human rights legislation. Therefore, you should make sure your policy states some background checks are mandatory for a given position if that’s the case and that all your candidates are informed of this.
Checking every candidate also eliminates any personal bias that might be getting in the way of good judgment. Experienced hiring managers tend to rely on intuition, which can be misleading. Furthermore, taking a candidate’s word for something can present a risk for your business.
You shouldn’t skip the background check. It’s an investment in your reputation, profit, staff, and clients. You need to know as much as possible before hiring someone, considering how much you stand to lose.