Background Checks

I recently found an article I want to share with you.  It was written by Erica Clausen-Lee, Chief Strategy Officer of InfoMart.  Here’s what she had to say about failing to do background checks: “While background screening is not always required by law, it has quickly become recognized as a best practice for employers seeking to hire effective candidates while avoiding unnecessary risks.”

Some of these risks she outlined, which I have summarized below, include:

Legal Action: It is incumbent upon companies to confirm that employees are unlikely to commit crimes on the job—especially those that result in injury or harm to others. Failure to do so can result in negligent hiring lawsuits, which negatively impact company assets, including corporate reputations and the relationship between employees and supervisors or HR. For the record, statistics show that employers lose approximately 79 percent of negligent lawsuits.

An Unsafe Workplace: OSHA statistics indicate that two million American workers are victims of workplace violence each year. This violence, which often happens without warning, cannot be predicted. However, a candidate’s history of violence—which can be confirmed through background screening—may indicate future susceptibility to risky or dangerous behavior.

Reputation Management: Managing corporate public image has never been more difficult, especially given the popularity of “social sharing.” Failure to perform due diligence in hiring will reflect poorly on an organization and may extend to public opinion about their products and services, as well. Staffing or “headhunter” agencies—whose reputation is built on providing fully vetted talent—must be especially careful.

I couldn’t agree more with Clausen-Lee on these three points!  She adds, “Studies show than more than 50% of resumes are misleading in some way; however, when asked, more than 70% of people claim they have never lied or misrepresented themselves on a resume.”  If that’s the case, at least 20% of people are lying about lying on their resumes! One can’t help but wonder if that 20% are deluding their employers or themselves.