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Employees Background Checks: 3 Reasons Why They Are Important

Background investigations are one of the main ways, besides reference checks, that give employers information about potential employees from sources other than applicants themselves. A background investigation can determine whether an applicant has a criminal record, a poor credit history, motor vehicle violations and much more. It can determine whether an applicant has misrepresented their education or work history. 

Most employers conduct background checks during the hiring process, and others conduct them throughout employment. Some rescreen employees annually, and others will do so in response to a specific event. Others conduct checks on promotions or when they change roles within the company. Background checks are conducted for various reasons, with the ultimate goal of hiring the best person for the job and the organization. 

1. Ensure the safety of the business and its employees

Employers who need information about criminal records, court records, and much more, need to consider using one of the best free background check sites. They only require a person’s full name and phone number to conduct a search and download a report. Many background check sites also have mobile apps and usually charge a monthly subscription fee that includes unlimited background reports. 

A major reason to conduct a background check is for safety purposes. Companies want to avoid legal liability or harm of various types to either the employer or other employees. This may include harm to the public from negligent driving, harm to the employer due to financial loss or reputational issues, and harm to other employees in the form of sexual harassment or workplace violence. 

Credit checks: A credit background check can help to determine if a candidate is financially responsible, which is important when applying for a role involving company finances and fiscal records. A credit check needs to be done with the knowledge of the candidate and only if it’s relevant to the position. 

Criminal history checks: Criminal history checks can be a sensitive issue, but employers need to be transparent about conducting such screening with candidates. It is up to each business to find a balance between gathering background information and respecting someone’s right to privacy. Any information gathered should be strictly related to the job. 

Negligent hiring claims: A negligent hiring legal claim is a good reason for employers to conduct in-depth background checks. This is a claim an individual can bring when an employer doesn’t screen an employee well enough, and that employee harms someone else. Employers need to demonstrate that they exercised due care when hiring employees. Punitive damages in a negligent hiring claim can be millions of dollars. 

2. Save time and money

Hire and retain the right candidates: Background checks help organizations to evaluate and hire employees from an evolving workforce that may be worldwide and include remote workers. Recruiting and hiring is an expensive process. It is better to hire the right candidates in the first place and retain them rather than having to constantly go through the process. One of the best ways to do this is with a background check. 

Protect against discrimination claims: Employers who want to foster cultures of equity and inclusion can identify problems before they happen with background checks and help to protect against discriminatory behavior in the workplace. A zero-tolerance policy towards bullying, harassment, racism and sexism can help them to retain employees and create a happier workplace. 

Increase productivity: Productivity, team morale and quality of service are just some of the areas that can be affected when businesses do not conduct background checks and hire unsuitable candidates. 

Avoid fines and reputation damage for lack of legal compliance: Legal compliance with various rules and regulations that surround labor law is often a time-consuming exercise. Compliance issues are even more complex when businesses have international subsidiaries.

Screening candidates can reveal whether they have the legal right to employment. Do they have the required paperwork and qualifications to perform work in a specific country? Failure to perform the necessary background checks can result in fines for lack of legal compliance and risk reputational damage. 

3. Safeguard cybersecurity and customer data

Many businesses globally are affected by cybersecurity threats. They often secure their data on in-house servers that are accessible to employees, many of whom have remote access to information. This increases the potential for security breaches that can have a profoundly negative impact on an organization’s reputation and affect its profitability. 

Conducting strict background checks is important to protect the privacy of customer data. The process of doing a background check on job applicants can be expensive and time-consuming, but this is nothing compared to the losses that the company could incur due to an internal security threat. If someone transitions into a role where they have more access to sensitive information, they should undergo an additional background check.

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