Whether you’re a small business owner, manager, or part of the HR department, your staff should always come first. Building a team that’s not only productive but happy can create a positive work environment that spans the entire company. Unfortunately, the recruitment process can make it difficult for you to pinpoint which applicants will be a good fit for your team. Employee background checks can help you learn about an applicant’s job history and experience, credit, driving records, and criminal history to help them decide between multiple applicants and ensure they’re creating a healthy and safe workplace for all.
Employee background checks are essential for businesses of all sizes, mainly because your employees are your brand advocates. If your employees aren’t who they say they are or have committed crimes, it could affect your business reputation. Additionally, background checks can help you determine whether someone will be a good fit for your team because they can verify that everything a prospective employee says about their job history is accurate. Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t feel the need to run background checks because they trust applicants and current employees. Here are a few reasons why employment background checks should be a part of your recruitment strategy:
Many small businesses don’t realize how costly it is when employees leave until it happens. Employee turnover means less work getting done overall. For example, when a single person runs a business, you might think you’re saving money on their salary. However, there’s one less person to work with, which could mean you’re losing money overall. Additionally, the more employee turnover you have, the more costs you’ll incur to recruit and train new hires.
Background checks can prevent you from paying for recruiting and training the wrong hires. For example, suppose someone lies on their resume, and you don’t verify their information with a former employer or by doing a background check. In that case, they might be unable to handle all the tasks and responsibilities associated with their role. As a result, they might feel stressed or not be a very productive team member, which can lead to them getting fired or quitting after you’ve already paid them for training.
Businesses should invest in their employees, but you don’t want to invest in the wrong one. If someone doesn’t have the skills or is a job hopper who will leave your company soon after being hired, the least you can do is avoid hiring them or prepare for it.
Background checks are an excellent way for employers to mitigate risk because they can ensure the individual you hire is the right fit for the role and confirm their identity while checking for any criminal history. If you don’t run a background check, you might have to deal with everything from poor work performance to theft. For example, someone could lie on their resume, which would be grounds for immediate dismissal and cost you time and money trying to fill their role. Meanwhile, someone could have a criminal background as a thief who stole from their last employer, and you won’t know until it happens to you.
To create a workplace that fosters creativity and overall employee satisfaction, you must ensure your employees are safe. Employee background checks will verify if prospective candidates have criminal backgrounds that might make them a danger to your business and its staff.
Improves Overall Employee Satisfaction
Job competence is crucial. If you hire the wrong person for a job, they’ll bring the entire team down. For example, if you’re hiring a manager, they should have the necessary skills. As part of your employee background check, consider contacting a former employer to verify the information on a resume and learn more about the candidate.
Unfortunately, without employee background checks, you can’t determine whether someone is a good fit for the rest of the team, which could lead to retention problems. Remember, employees don’t leave bad jobs; they leave bad bosses. Therefore, to prevent everyone on your team from quitting due to a new hire’s experience, skills, or personality, you should always run a background check and review statements made during the initial interview about their competency and job history.
Regardless of your business type, you have customers and clients. Protecting them and their information is crucial, and not doing so can give you a poor reputation that will hurt your business’s growth. Threats to your customers include cybersecurity and physical harm. Performing a background check on employees is one of the best ways to ensure your customers and their personal information is safe, especially if your staff has access to private information, such as bank accounts.
Some industries are legally required to perform background checks on employees. For example, any highly regulated industry, such as financial services, cannabis, education, and healthcare, is legally obligated to perform employee background checks. If you need clarification on whether this applies to you, find and work with an employment lawyer to help you determine which background checks you should have performed on your employees.
Additionally, background checks ensure anyone you hire has the right to work in the country with the proper paperwork if they’re not citizens. Failure to run these background checks can result in fines or reputational damage.
Are Background Checks Necessary?
Depending on your industry, background checks may or may not be legally required. However, you should always run background checks on new hires to ensure you know who you’re hiring. Consider each type of background check, including reference checks, resume verification, identity verification, criminal background checks, and credit checks to determine which ones are right for your business. Making background checks part of your employment screening process can mitigate risk and ensure a happy, safe workplace for everyone. It can save you time and money by improving your employee retention rates and ensuring you hire the right person for every job.
Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer who loves to share knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness, and financial tips. During her free time, she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.