Background Checks: Uncovering the Importance of Knowing Who You’re Hiring
In today’s world, we’re surrounded by news stories of criminal activities that make us think twice about the people we interact with in our daily lives. And for employees, these worries are amplified when they work with people who may have access to private information or are responsible for their safety. This is why background checks are becoming more and more essential in today's society.
From small businesses to corporations, employers are taking extra steps to ensure they have a trustworthy and reliable team of employees on board. But why are background checks important in today’s society? Let’s explore the reasons why it's necessary to conduct these checks before hiring new employees.
First, what is a background check?
A background check is a process that helps employers to verify a candidate's identity, education, employment history, criminal record, and other significant information to ensure that they’re a good fit for the job. This process typically involves searching through a variety of databases to obtain information related to the candidate’s past.
Now, let’s take a look at why background checks matter in today’s society:
1. Protecting employees and employers from liabilities
According to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), approximately 36% of companies have reported that they conduct background checks to reduce the risk of negligent hiring lawsuits. Negligent hiring lawsuits occur when an employer hires an employee without conducting the proper due diligence, which can result in harm to another employee or client. When an employer takes the time to investigate a candidate's background, it can protect both the employer and their employees from unnecessary liabilities.
2. Maintaining workplace safety
Background checks are increasingly important for companies that work with vulnerable populations, such as hospitals, schools, and daycares. These organizations are responsible for the safety and well-being of their clients, and it's essential to ensure that employees working with these vulnerable populations do not have a criminal history that could jeopardize their safety.
3. Protecting sensitive information
Employers must safeguard their confidential information and their client's data, which makes it indispensable to assess whether an employee can be trusted with sensitive information. By performing background checks, employers can confirm that the employee has not been involved in any unethical behaviors, such as leaking confidential information to third parties.
4. Allowing the hiring of qualified candidates
Lastly, background checks allow employers to hire the most qualified candidates for the job. A candidate's past may be an essential factor in determining whether they have the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the job successfully. If an employer knows more about a candidate's past, they can better assess whether the candidate is the right fit for the job.
What does a background check include?
Background checks can vary depending on the organization's requirements and the candidate's role. However, some common elements are found in most background checks:
1. Criminal history check
A criminal history check is one of the essential elements of a background check. It's essential to verify that a candidate doesn't have any criminal convictions that could make them unsuitable for the job.
2. Employment history verification
Employment history verification helps employers confirm that the candidate has been truthful about their past job experiences, responsibilities, and accomplishments. This check can involve contacting the candidate's previous employers to verify their employment tenure and job title.
3. Education verification
Education verification aims to confirm the candidate's academic credentials, including the school they attended, the degree they earned, and the dates they attended.
4. Credit check
A credit check examines the candidate's financial history, including their credit score, existing debts, and financial pattern. Some employers believe this helps them assess a candidate's suitability for a job dealing with finances.
5. Reference check
Reference checks involve contacting people who know the candidate, such as past employers, colleagues, or clients, to inquire about their character, work ethics, and other related qualities.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, background checks are crucial in today's society, and they’re vital to ensure that employers protect their employees, their sensitive information, and maintain workplace safety. By understanding a candidate's background, employers can make better hiring decisions that lead to more qualified candidates and a safer organization.
As an individual, you can also benefit from background checks. It's always wise to verify any personal information related to your financial records, such as credit scores, and to know whether your digital identities are secure. With a small investment in these checks, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from any potential harm.