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What You Need to Know About Background Checks and Why They Matter in Today's Society

Background checks are a popular method used by many employers, landlords, and organizations to gather a range of information about individuals before they hire, rent to, or use their services. You may have even undergone a background check yourself when seeking employment or applying for housing. While it may seem like an invasion of privacy, background checks play an essential role in today's society. They help prevent fraud and protect public safety in numerous ways.

Fraudulent individuals and organizations can cause a significant amount of harm to a society, both economically and personally. Often, they exploit others' vulnerabilities for their own gain. Background checks are an effective tool that can prevent such occurrences or aid in identifying bad actors. They're used to verify information provided by the applicant, such as their work history, education, and criminal record. Employers, landlords, and organizations use this information to assess the applicant's risk in terms of theft, fraud, or harm to others.

One example of the importance of background checks is the security breach that occurred at Equifax in 2017. The credit bureau experienced a data breach that affected over 147 million individuals. The hacker obtained personal information such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, and addresses. The data breach highlighted the importance of background checks as companies need to protect sensitive information of their clients and customers.

Backgrounds checks are also necessary when hiring for specific positions. For example, one of the essential roles of the TSA is to ensure safety and security in the air travel sector. TSA has a rigorous screening process, including background checks, for all employees. It helps identify those who are potentially dangerous. Similarly, teachers, coaches, and daycare providers undergo background checks. These employees deal with children who are particularly vulnerable. Thus, it's extremely crucial to hire individuals who don't have a criminal history or the potential to harm a child.

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Background checks are also critical in the healthcare sector. Prior to being hired, nurses, and doctors have to go through a rigorous background check. It provides patients with a sense of security and is a significant factor in establishing trust between the medical professionals and patient. Medical professionals are privy to sensitive information about individuals and their medical history; therefore, preventing the hiring of fraudulent individuals is of utmost importance.

While it's not foolproof, background checks have proven to be an effective way to reduce risks and protect public safety. They help eliminate bad actors by screening them out before they can cause any harm. Not only do they protect organizations and individuals from fraud but also from hiring employees who don't fit the criteria for the job.

Moreover, background checks have a preventative effect on crime rates. Prospective employees or tenants usually disclose any criminal convictions during the process. This way, they're identifying themselves as potential risks. Employers or landlords can then make informed decisions based on the risk to themselves, their customers or clients, and themselves. It also acts as a deterrent for criminal activities, as individuals with a history of criminal activity can't move around freely. Therefore, any wrongdoing on their part will have severe consequences.

Background checks don't just aid in identifying an individual's criminal history. They help in verifying their work history and education. Employers use this information to ascertain if the individual is a good fit for the job. Education verification helps to prevent fraudsters from securing jobs through falsified credentials. While it's not a guarantee that the employee won't commit fraud, background checks provide a sense of security that helps prevent loss of money or damages due to fraudulent activity.

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Background checks are also important in protecting sensitive information. Companies that deal with sensitive information, such as financial institutions, have strict policies for background checks. They prevent the hiring of employees with any history of financial crime or any likelihood of committing financial fraud by assessing their financial history, references, etc. It minimizes potential threats, and in the worst-case scenario, ensures smooth investigation and insurance settlement.

Employment Pre-screening is now a common practice globally across various industries. The importance of background checks has been further highlighted during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Companies have changed their recruitment policies to go beyond standard employment verification. Many employers now conduct additional checks measuring employee credentials, criminal background, health checks, and potential links to drugs or alcohol. Additional background checks are necessary to ascertain a prospective employee’s capacity to undertake the job’s role amidst a pandemic crisis.

In conclusion, Background checks are essential in today’s society for various reasons. It’s not just a tool to demonstrate an employer or landlord’s due diligence, but also an opportunity to protect their organization's interests, customers, and employees. It aids in identifying any fraudsters or wrongdoers before they get a chance to cause harm. They also promote public safety by preventing recruitment of potentially dangerous individuals. Background checks are necessary for industries such as healthcare, finance, or childcare, where the risks are significantly higher. The importance of background checks has been further highlighted during the pandemic. It’s necessary to ensure that the employees are capable of handling the pandemic induced challenges. Overall, background checks are an essential preventative measure that helps organizations everywhere protect themselves and their clients.

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