Background checks are an important part of any hiring plan for the simple reason that they keep your employees and your customers safe.
We’ve all seen the news reports about attacks in the workplace. While these headline-grabbing incidents are thankfully few and far between, other crimes happen on the job every single day.
Failing to properly screen your employees doesn’t just put you at risk for being a victim of a crime, but it puts your business at risk as well. If you hire someone with a history of violent crime and they hurt someone while on the job — you are responsible. If you have an employee that is using illegal drugs and accidentally injures someone on the job – you are responsible. Several industries do require background checks. Even if not mandated by law it is better to be safe than sorry. The risk of a negligent hiring lawsuit alone should be enough to make screening worthwhile. Additionally, if you are trying to reduce your workers compensation premiums, the carriers often require drug-screening to obtain the Drug Free Credit.
Why Are Background Checks Important?
If you are still wondering why background checks are necessary, these statistics should give you a good idea.
- A CareerBuilder survey found that one bad hire can cost an employer upwards of $17,000. Not only is there a monetary cost, but the damage to morale and loss of productivity that comes from hiring the wrong person can have a terrible impact on a workforce. There are even more costly reasons to make sure you know who you are hiring.
- According to the 2016 Global Fraud Study, the typical organization loses 5% of annual revenues to fraud. In the United States the median loss was $120,000, and 30% of the fraud happened in small businesses with fewer than 100 employees. The top risks were billing schemes, skimming, non-cash misappropriation, check tampering, and corruption. The biggest reason however, is the safety and well-being of your employees and customers.
- According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2006 to 2010 more than 550 people were murdered each year while on the job. Of those, 77 were multiple homicides. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) between 1993 to 1999 an average of 1.7 million people were victims of violent crime while on the job.
Are Free Background Checks Enough For My Business?
There are all kinds of services out there on the internet that say you can check someone’s criminal history in seconds. These services are not suitable for employment purposes and can be considered illegal if used for those purposes. Proper background checks are complex; they involve searching the courts on the federal, state, and county levels, as well as checking in with an applicant’s schools and previous employers. The online services just electronically scan databases that are almost always incomplete. Additionally, employers need to understand the various regulations that apply before they find themselves in hot water.
The only real way to determine if a job applicant has a criminal record is to have an actual human being scour court records. They do this for several reasons, first to make sure the record really is for your applicant, and second to see if the there was actually a conviction verses an arrest. No one wants to throw out good hire or risk a discrimination lawsuit because of mistaken identity or over a charge that was dropped due to racial profiling.
Background checks cannot prevent all violence in the workplace and it can’t guarantee that every hire will be the best fit, but it can go a long way to making sure you make the most informed hiring decisions possible.
Let Audax HR assist you in screening appropriately for potential hires with the right level of background checking best suited for each position. Below is our client preferred pricing.
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Read our FAQ document on background checks for more information.