Job candidates are mistaken to think that the background checks that potential employers are running on them are solely for the benefit of the organizations.
As a recruiter responsible for communicating the screening process to these candidates, it may be difficult to dissuade them of that belief.
After all, there are numerous benefits that background checks offer to employers, including:
- They help an employer verify information presented during the application and interview process. An employment background check works to validate that candidates have the qualifications and backgrounds they profess to have – important information to help determine suitability for a position.
- They can provide a glimpse into a candidate’s character. Employment background checks help determine whether a job candidate has been upfront and honest in their discussions with you. Inaccuracies or outright lies uncovered by a background check can be a critical indicator of a candidate’s overall character or morals.
- They can help prevent workplace theft or fraud. According to one study, 30 percent of all small business failures are attributable to employee theft. And it’s not just small businesses that are at risk – recent analysis by the American College of Fraud Examiners indicates that organizations are losing, on average, 5 percent of their annual revenues to workplace fraud. Employment background checks can be an important step in determining whether a candidate may have a history of such behavior.
- They can help mitigate the risk of workplace violence. Unfortunately, the issue of workplace violence is very real for employers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2014, there were more than 400 workplace homicides in the United States while 2013 saw more than 14,000 instances of nonfatal violent acts in American workplaces, acts that were serious enough that employees had to take time off of work to recover. Employment background checks can help determine whether your candidate has been convicted of violent crimes which could pose a risk to your organization.
- They help protect your organization’s reputation. News travels fast these days – the Internet and social media mean that any negative story could potentially instantly reach thousands of people. What if that story were about one of your employees who wasn’t properly screened? A background check can go a long way to help your organization’s brand and reputation.
So, for these reasons and others, background checks benefit the hiring organization.
But what about other stakeholders involved in the process – how might background checks benefit them?
- Job candidates. This may be your most important constituency when it comes to communicating the value of a background check. The screening process could very well be an uncertain and even frightening one for many candidates. One way to calm their concerns is to describe how candidates benefit from a background check. A well-designed program of background screening helps to facilitate a level playing field for those honest candidates who deserve to be in the game. It helps those doing the hiring to make their decisions in a more consistent manner, and that added level of fairness is a plus for candidates.
- Current employees. By proactively steering clear of candidates who at worst could be violent or at least might not be as qualified as they imply, those already on the payroll may be in a safer workplace, and also less likely to have to carry the load of a less-than-stellar hire.
- People doing business with you may feel more confident interacting with employees whose histories you’ve vetted and approved. This can be vital in all settings, but if you’re in an industry that employs individuals who enter customers’ homes, and those entrusted with customers’ investments or other valuables, you may want to be particularly mindful of implementing a thorough screening program.
Employment background checks are an important part of the modern workplace, and can bring immeasurable value to a number of audiences beyond the hiring organization.
By understanding how these various stakeholders may benefit from a well-designed and well-executed program, you can take a big step in helping your candidates see the positive impact.
To learn more about the benefits of employment background checks, take a look at our exciting new book Background Checks for Dummies.
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Background Checks For Dummies [eBook]
Your guide to help reduce hiring risk and improve your quality of hire.