Hiring and recruiting costs a lot of time and money and there is always some risk involved. Criminal background checks may seem like a normal thing to recruiters and staffing agencies, but larger companies may not understand that this is a crucial way to protect data. If you don’t take extra steps to ensure transparency and trust from the get-go—your company could end up in hot water.
If a company is sloppy about their background checks and something messes up, they could be sued for discrimination or negligence. Beyond that, bad hires are costly to organizations of all types and through every industry. Lost time and expenses can occur for various reasons, not the least of which via bad press and even word of mouth information.
What can happen if you do not run a criminal background check?
If you do not run a background check you face many possible negative consequences.
You may be ending up with a person with fake credentials and therefore is, at best, unable to complete the requirements of the job. According to CareerBuilder, a whopping 58% of resumes have some sort of false information.
You may also end up with someone who is likely to commit a crime such as assault or fraud. A 2014 study showed that globally, workplace fraud is $3.7 trillion and theft is 5%.
The repercussions of these kinds of crimes are serious and can cost a lot of time and money—which once again will be linked to reputation, especially if the press gets involved.
Negligent hiring is something that a company can be accused of if an employee is essentially being irresponsible and an injury or other problem results. For instance, if they cause a car accident on company time and then it is later found out that they never had a clean driving record in the first place, the company could be held liable for the other party’s injury.
These types of lawsuits can cost $1 million on average and employers are likely to lose. This is a very obvious reason why, when it comes to criminal background checks, it’s worth it to check people out before you hire.
What types of crimes can hinder a company’s reputation?
Today, employers need to be aware of the prevalence of not only fraud and theft but also cybercrime. It is becoming increasingly easy for employees of mid- to large-level institutions to commit data theft which can affect not only the company itself but also the lives of other employees.
Ex-employees of tech companies and positions have been known to hack employers, and once this kind of thing gets out, it is a public issue, especially if it happens in a public institution. According to one 2008 study, 90% of IT employees claimed that, if laid off, they would consider stealing data such as passwords, intellectual property and strategic plans.
What types of criminal activity could show up during a records check?
It’s quite common to find misdemeanors on a person’s record but only if it has been within 7 years. Other situations that might show up include incidences related to driving records, fraud and drug use. But even if these things don’t show up in an obvious way, background checks are meant to give an overview.
Criminal checks are vital. One never knows when an applicant has a violent criminal history. You can mitigate risk by checking the criminal records history of your applicants.
Emma Epps is one of the marketing managers of Trusted Employees — employment background checks provider. She has been helping organizations big and small automate their employment screening process for the last 5 years.
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