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Why Background Screening Is Essential in Today's Complex Society

In today's society, where fraud and deception are rampant, it is essential to conduct background checks on individuals. A background check is an important tool that helps employers and organizations to verify the credentials of applicants. It involves the process of scrutinizing an individual’s past records, such as criminal history, educational qualifications, employment history, and credit scores, to confirm their suitability for a position. The results of background checks are instrumental in preventing fraud and protecting public safety. In this article, we will explore why background checks are essential in today's society and how they help prevent fraud and protect public safety.

## Prevention of Fraud

Background checks are a crucial tool in preventing fraud, whether in the workplace, among homeowners, or in the financial sector. Employers who fail to conduct background checks are more likely to hire dishonest candidates who are prone to theft, embezzlement, or fraud. A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shows that 69 percent of all organizations conduct criminal background checks.

Organizations that don’t conduct background checks are at high risk of hiring individuals with criminal records, making their organizations vulnerable to fraud and theft. A simple background check can reveal warning signs for potentially dishonest applicants before they get hired. It's essential to hire individuals who are trustworthy and capable of handling sensitive information and the funds of the organization.

The consequences of not conducting background checks can lead to financial losses, legal fees, and damage to an organization's reputation. It is not uncommon to hear cases of fraud or embezzlement that have occurred within organizations due to a lack of thorough background checks. Therefore, it is vital to conduct background checks for all employees to prevent fraud, and protect the interests of the business owners.

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## Protecting Public Safety

Background checks also play an essential role in protecting public safety. By conducting background checks on individuals in sensitive roles, such as healthcare practitioners, home care providers, drivers, and law enforcement, we can ensure the safety of the public.

For example, hospitals and healthcare facilities conduct background checks on all their new hires, including nurses, doctors, and support staff, to prevent the hiring of individuals with a history of drug abuse, criminal offenses, or sexual offenses. In doing so, they protect their patients from harm by ensuring that they receive care from qualified and trustworthy healthcare professionals.

Similarly, many state regulations require background checks for individuals applying for a driver's license. By conducting background checks, we can ensure that those with a history of reckless driving or a DUI conviction are not driving on our roads or operating commercial vehicles. It helps in reducing the number of accidents and fatalities caused by impaired or inexperienced drivers.

Background checks are also essential for individuals who wish to adopt, foster, or work with children. In many states, individuals who work in childcare centers, schools, or as a caregiver to children at home undergo background checks to ensure that they do not pose a risk to children. By doing so, we can protect children from predators and abusers.

## Real-life Examples

The importance of conducting thorough background checks is evident in many real-life cases where individuals were hired without proper background checks, which has led to major financial and reputational losses. An example of such an instance is the banking scandal that occurred at Wells Fargo in 2016. Wells Fargo was fined a record amount of $185 million for opening millions of bogus bank accounts without customers' knowledge. It was later discovered that some of the employees who committed these acts had criminal backgrounds, which would have been revealed if proper background checks had been conducted during the hiring process.

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Another example is the case of Uber. In 2017, Reuters reported that Uber had failed to conduct thorough background checks on its drivers and had allowed many drivers with criminal records to operate on the platform. Uber's failure to conduct a proper background check led to the rape of a passenger in India by an Uber driver who had previously been convicted of rape. The company was banned in several countries, lost the trust of its customers, and faced heavy fines by regulatory bodies.

## Conclusion

In conclusion, background checks are crucial to preventing fraud and protecting public safety. They help organizations to verify the credentials of applicants, prevent the hiring of dishonest individuals, and protect organizations from financial losses and reputational damage. They are also essential in sensitive sectors such as healthcare and childcare, where public safety is paramount. Real-life examples of the consequences of failing to conduct thorough background checks demonstrate the importance of implementing a thorough, comprehensive background check process. By incorporating this step into the hiring process, companies can create a safe and trustworthy environment for their employees and clients. Therefore, it is necessary for employers and organizations to conduct background checks on all their employees to ensure that only the most qualified and trustworthy candidates are hired.

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