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Why Conducting Background Checks is Essential for Keeping Communities Safe and Secure

In today's society, background checks have become an essential part of many hiring and screening processes. They play a crucial role in preventing fraud, protecting public safety, and creating a more secure society. From job applications to volunteer work, background checks are used to ensure that candidates are trustworthy and do not pose any risks to others. In this article, we will discuss why background checks are so important and how they help prevent fraud and protect public safety.

The Importance of Background Checks

Background checks have become a vital tool for several reasons. Firstly, they help organizations protect themselves against fraud and minimize risks. There have been numerous cases in the past where businesses have hired people who have posed significant threats to their security. For example, bank employees who have had a history of theft or embezzlement have caused significant financial losses to their organizations. By conducting background checks, companies can avoid these issues and ensure that they hire ethical, trustworthy employees.

Secondly, background checks help protect public safety. In certain industries such as health care or positions that have direct contact with children and the elderly, it is imperative to ensure that employees have no criminal records or histories of violence. Employing people with a history of violence or criminal offenses would put vulnerable individuals at risk, which would be detrimental to public safety. Background checks are thus not only essential for employers wishing to safeguard themselves from liability but also for promoting safe environments for society at large.

Background Checks and the Hiring Process

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The hiring process can be a minefield for employers, particularly when it comes to verifying a prospective employee's bona fides. Background checks are a critical part of this process, giving employers an opportunity to confirm the information presented by applicants and make informed decisions. Additionally, conducting background checks can help an organization be proactive in preventing legal or financial issues that can arise from a bad hire.

Most employers conduct background checks that include the following:

• Criminal record checks
• Employment history verification
• Education verification
• Drug screening
• Credit and financial history checks

Depending on the industry and the particular role, some of these checks may be omitted while others may be added. For instance, if the vacant position involves driving, a driving record check would be mandatory. For other jobs, social media checks may be added to get a more complete picture of a candidate.

The Risks of Not Conducting Background Checks

Employers who choose not to conduct background checks or forego them for certain applicants are putting themselves at risk. Besides losing significant resources due to fraudulent activity, employers could end up hiring someone who is prone to violence, theft, or embezzlement. Hiring such people could lead to legal and financial ramifications, tarnishing the company's reputation and potentially putting employees and customers at risk. Furthermore, Background checks may also save companies from future risk by disclosing that a prospective employee has connections to or associations with dangerous individuals, organizations or criminal activities.

Real Life Examples of Importance

Several real-life examples demonstrate the importance of background checks. For instance, the case of Bernie Madoff, an infamous ponzi schemer, who defrauded investors of billions of dollars. A simple background check would have revealed that Madoff had been involved in fraudulent activities in the past. A more recent example is the Equifax data breach, where millions of people's personal and financial information was stolen, allegedly due to the company's lack of background checking on a specific employee. Equifax claimed that the employee was not responsible for the data breach. However, the lack of proper oversight and background checking raises questions regarding the company's due diligence.

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Background checks have become an essential tool for organizations and employers to safeguard themselves and others from potential risks. They are integral to creating a more secure society, and governments and employers should promote them. These checks and other verification methods serve as a pre-emptive measure that can significantly reduce the potential for fraud, protect public safety, and promote trust among employees and customers. Ultimately, background checks are vital for creating a more efficient and trustworthy society where everyone feels secure.

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