Screening job applicants to avoid making a bad hire is common sense. And it’s common practice to check candidates’ criminal records, verify their qualifications and check employment references before filling a vacancy. However, performing employee background check on existing staff members is equally important yet often overlooked.
Let’s face it, life is never plane sailing for everyone all the time. Anything can happen at any time to drastically change our circumstances. That goes for your employees too. While you might have a reliable, hardworking team, issues impacting their private lives can often become problems in the workplace as well.
6 Reasons to perform employee background check on your existing workforce
Carrying out employee background check on your existing workforce after they’ve already been employed for a significant length of time might feel as if you are betraying that mutual trust built up between employees and management. However, consider these reasons in favor of regularly performing background checks on your current employees:
- Reduce the risk of criminal activity occurring at the workplace
- Staff’s awareness of regular employee background checks discourages negligence
- Maintain a safe and healthy work environment
- Create intervention opportunities to help employees with personal problems and prevent them affecting their work
- Mitigate potential litigation, fines and court cases
- Discourage hiring and firing decisions based on personal preferences or discrimination
As you can see from the list above, implementing regular employee background checks is beneficial for employers and employees in several ways. Simply having procedures in place is a preventative measure that will make individuals with bad intentions think twice before risking their career, and those loyal employees will feel safer and stay with you longer.
What about criminal background checks on existing employees?
Unless you perform extensive searches on an employee’s criminal history, you can never be sure they haven’t crossed the line in the past or won’t turn to criminal activities while in your employ.
Our Intelimasters background screening team helps recruiters streamline the search through the thousands of criminal record databases so they can be confident that shortlisted candidates do not have a recent criminal history. Even so, criminal records for minor offenses are usually expunged after a few years, so we always advise our clients to implement regular employee background checks for existing employees, in case any of them incur a criminal record after employment.
The biggest challenge when performing employee background checks for criminal records is that those records are kept in localized district or county criminal databases. Countries don’t usually have ‘national’ criminal databases. Employers in the US, for example, have to search every single database among thousands across the country to be absolutely sure an employee is squeaky clean.
Should employers check employee driving licenses?
Just as individuals can commit crimes at any time, an employee could get points on their driving licence for driving offenses or even be banned from driving altogether. Driving offenses might be at all relevant if an employee that isn’t required to drive for their job so there are two things to be aware of when reviewing driving records for employee background checks.
1. Local employment laws may prohibit you from making hiring and firing decisions based on traffic offences if the employee doesn’t drive or operate a vehicle as part of their job.
2. If on the other hand your employee has had points put on their license or even had it revoked since working with you and they cause an accident while driving on the job, both the employee and the employer could face fines or even criminal charges.