In today’s society, we often hear the phrase “background check” thrown around quite a bit. But, what exactly is a background check and why are they important? In simple terms, a background check is the process of verifying someone's past actions, experiences, and personal history. Essentially, it is a necessary tool that helps to weed out potential risks to public safety and prevent fraud. In this article, we will delve into the importance of background checks in today's society and explore how they help protect public safety and prevent fraudulent activities.
Importance of Background Checks
When employers, landlords, investment firms, or any other organizations want to know more about someone, they often perform a background check. However, it is essential to note that background checks are not limited to employers and landlords. In fact, they are an essential screening tool used across a wide range of industries and fields. For example, health care providers, security personnel, and government agencies routinely conduct background checks to ensure public safety.
The primary reason for conducting background checks is to eliminate risks and potential threats. While most people are honest about their past, some are not. Background checks make it possible to detect red flags or warning signs that may pose a threat. For example, a background check may uncover a history of criminal activities or violent behavior. By conducting these types of screenings, organizations can prevent hiring or doing business with someone who could potentially harm others.
Additionally, background checks help to protect an organization's reputation. For instance, if a company mistakenly hires someone with a history of financial fraud, they could be held liable for their actions. This could lead to a loss of trust amongst customers, regulators, and the community. Background checks help organizations avoid negative publicity and legal consequences.
Prevention of Fraud
Another crucial aspect of background checks is detecting fraudulent activities. By verifying someone's educational or work history, an organization can detect if an individual has exaggerated or falsified their qualifications. This helps organizations to make informed decisions and hire the right candidates.
Background checks can also help prevent other forms of fraud. For example, insurance providers use background checks to detect fraudulent insurance claims. Insurance fraud occurs when an individual makes false or exaggerated insurance claims to obtain undeserved compensation. By analyzing past insurance claims and other relevant information, insurance providers can identify potential fraud and take necessary action.
Protection of Public Safety
Public safety is of utmost importance. Background checks help safeguard the public by identifying and preventing potential threats. For example, schools, daycare centers, and other child-care providers need to conduct background checks to ensure that their staff/teachers do not have a history of violent behavior or have been convicted of crimes of child abuse or neglect. This helps protect children from harm and provides peace of mind to parents.
Similarly, background checks are essential in the healthcare industry. Medical professionals have access to sensitive patient data and provide critical healthcare services. Hence, it is essential to ensure that they have the required qualifications, skills, and expertise to provide quality care. Background checks can help ensure patient safety and prevent any malpractices.
Although we have discussed the importance of background checks in theory, let's explore some real-life examples to make this issue more relatable.
In 2015, Uber conducted a background check on a driver, who subsequently went on to murder a passenger while on duty. Uber came under immense criticism for failing to uncover the drivers' criminal history. Had Uber performed proper background checks, this tragedy could have been avoided.
Back in 2017, a Goldman Sachs vice president, Woojae Juhn, was charged with insider trading. During the investigation, it was revealed that Juhn falsified his educational qualifications on his resume. He made it appear as if he had attended the University of Michigan and obtained an MBA degree. This misrepresentation could have been discovered through a simple background check, thereby preventing his employment in the firm.
Overall, background checks are essential tools that help prevent fraud and protect public safety. In today's society, where the risk of fraudulent activities and harm to public safety is high, organizations cannot afford to take chances. By conducting proper screenings and checks, organizations can make informed decisions. Background checks help prevent individuals with a history of criminal behavior and other undesirable traits from obtaining employment, access to personal information, or other sensitive data. They are indispensable in ensuring public safety, and every organization should make them a top priority.