While most hiring managers and employers still check employee references, that tends to be the extent of exploring the employee’s background. It’s well known that references are typically biased or “cherry-picked,” with candidates understandably choosing people they know will speak well of them.
Running an employee background check should be a critical component of the hiring process. Here’s why you should consider adding this exercise to your hiring protocols.
To Minimize Hiring Regret and Turnover
One of the primary reasons to run a background check is to confirm the identity and qualifications of the person you’re hiring.
Studies show that 78% of job applicants lie during the hiring process, ranging from exaggerations of their skillsets to full-blown fabrications about their educational backgrounds.
While many applicants who fudge the data have the potential to learn and grow in their role, those who are grossly underqualified likely won’t last long in your company. As the hiring process is quite costly— averaging around $4000 with all things considered— it’s important to minimize this expense. The best way to do so? Ensuring the right person is hired the first time.
You can run a Background Check on Background Hawk site to find an individual’s educational background and whether they have a criminal record. You can also incorporate validation into the hiring process (i.e., requiring a copy of transcripts or a criminal record check with the local police district).
To Create a Safe Work Environment
Creating a safe work environment is a top priority. Confirming that the person you’re hiring doesn’t have a criminal background is just one small part of that process. Depending on whether your organization has a second-chance program, you could use this to confirm that previous convictions are non-violent in nature.
Confirming the candidate’s education and background is another essential aspect of creating a safe work environment. While it’s unlikely that a small fib about previous experience with Excel spreadsheets will endanger anyone’s life, the same can’t be said for highly technical skills and trades.
Someone who lies about their work experience in construction or workplace safety training could put themselves and others at risk.
To Protect Your Brand Reputation
Background checks can also help you protect the integrity of your brand. It takes years to build a solid reputation and only one incident to destroy it permanently.
Checking social media is one aspect of protecting the image of your business. Look out for signs of candidates engaging in inappropriate behavior or hate speech. Someone who spends much of their time fighting with others online may not be the best representative of your business.
Confirming a candidate’s background is also paramount for protecting your brand’s reputation. Hiring an esthetician who doesn’t actually know how to do a bikini wax or wedding makeup could result in extreme customer dissatisfaction and backlash.
To Protect Your Business Assets
Protecting your business assets is perhaps the most obvious reason for running background checks.
You want to minimize the risk of someone stealing your intellectual property, divulging classified information, or committing financial fraud.
In addition to criminal record checks, many hiring managers will also run a credit check on employees. It’s important to understand the legalities around this in your area and ensure it’s relevant to the role.
To Evaluate Honesty and Transparency
Finally, running a credit check confirms a person’s honesty and transparency. People make mistakes, and they aren’t perfect. However, it’s how they address those mistakes that speak to their character.
For example, if you have an employee with an employment gap on their resume, they should be upfront and honest about the issue. If there’s something questionable in their distant past, they should bring it up during the interview.
It’s worth noting that if you expect applicants to be honest and transparent with you, you should offer the same courtesy.
Make it clear in the job posting that you’ll be conducting a background search and what that entails. Keep these key considerations in mind when revisiting your hiring process.