Why Employers do Background Checks?

For shortlisted applicants whose resumes make it to the pile on an employer’s desk, the next step employers undertake is background checks to verify the information provided by the candidate.

Those resumes that do make it through the initial selection process have been sufficiently impressive to grab the employer’s attention with experience and work history that fits the job description but now it’s time to delve deeper into the claims made by the applicant.

In most cases, there’s no reason for employers to doubt the information on the resumes but there are numerous valid reasons for the employer to perform their own due diligence, to be confident they’ll get a good return on their investment when eventually hiring someone to fill the vacancy.

Here are 5 questions the employer will want to answer with background checks:

Is the applicant really competent?

Firstly an employer needs to know that the candidate is a team player and can verify the work history on the applicant’s resume.

Work experience is a primary factor in an employer’s decision to shortlist candidates but the employer has to be confident that the applicant hasn’t overstated or even been dishonest about their work history and ability to fulfil the new role with competence.

Does the applicant comply with Health & Safety requirements?

Without doing a thorough background check on an applicant’s previous employment, the new employer could face the risk of recruiting someone with a track record of negligence that would negatively impact health and safety standards in the workplace.

Again, the employer must be confident that the new employee can work with existing staff members and abide by health and safety regulations.

A background check into this aspect of a candidate’s track record helps mitigate the risk of negligence and unsociable behavior that would be detrimental to the well being and dynamics of the existing workforce.

Does the candidate have a criminal record?

Even if a candidate has a criminal record, you’d be hard pushed to find a resume on which the applicant admits to having one, so performing a criminal record background check is essential.

Theft in the workplace has so many repercussions that go way beyond the cost of replacing stolen items. Criminal behaviour in the workplace creates animosity, breeds contempt and ultimately could be very damaging to your brand’s reputation in the eyes of customers, your own staff and stakeholders.

Is the applicant honest?

As we just mentioned, a candidate omitting to having a criminal record is somewhat understandable, and in some cases would perhaps be excusable if it was unrelated to the position being applied for.

However, honesty and integrity is a desirable prerequisite that almost any employer would expect of their employees, so it’s in your interests as an employer to do background checks in order to verify the claims made on an applicant’s resume about their work history, experience and qualifications.

Am I prepared to risk my company’s reputation?

Ultimately, neglecting to carry out robust background checks before employing someone is a risk that could cost your company financially as well as be highly damaging to your brand’s reputation.

As well as performing background screening checks before recruiting in-house employees, it’s also important to insist that background checks are carried out on anyone representing your company such as employees of third-party vendors, even and especially casual staff that they might employ.

The brand that you have strived to build over the years could be severely damaged by any negative public exposure caused by an employee that was not properly vetted before hiring.

For this reason the additional time and money spent on background checks is an investment with both tangible and intangible returns in the long term.

As such, outsourcing background checks to a reliable third-party screening provider is a choice often made by savvy CEOs that understand the cost savings of effective due diligence.

Prevention is always better than a cure.