Background Checks

In previous blogs, the experts at Barada Associates offered some real-life horror stories of what can happen as a result of not doing background and reference checking.

While these may seem like the stuff of fiction, they’re real stories from real customers who turned to us when they knew they needed to make a change in their hiring process. Unfortunately, when hiring new employees your entire business is at stake, meaning there are seemingly countless risks to not performing background checks in your hiring process.

The most basic risk, of course, is making a poor hiring decision—failing to hire the right person for the job to be done. But there’s also financial risk, the reputation of your company, the well-being of your existing staff, and so much more.

For comprehensive background screening services during the hiring process or for existing employees, contact Barada Associates. We have the experience and knowledge necessary to carry out a range of background checks and ensure your new hire is a good fit.

Call us today for a consultation and get a custom quote that minimizes the risks and potential of a bad hire.

Why Should I Perform Background Checks?

Proving that a candidate is all he or she claims to be through a background check is fundamental and tells the prospective employer that the candidate didn’t lie on his or her resume or job application. But a background check alone won’t reveal anything about the candidate’s ability to perform the job!

There is no way to determine if the candidate is right for the job without checking references, checking academic records, and in some cases even performing drug and alcohol tests. Background screening is a holistic concept that consists of multiple checks and levels of depth to be completely successful in highlighting application concerns and discrepancies.

Risks of Not Conducting Pre-Employment Background Checks

Neglecting to perform background checks can result in substantial costs and risks for businesses, extending beyond mere financial losses. Here are some of the critical costs:

  • Financial Losses: Hiring unqualified or dishonest employees can lead to significant financial repercussions, such as theft, fraud, and embezzlement. Additionally, the costs associated with turnover and retraining can be substantial if an unsuitable hire needs to be replaced.
  • Legal Costs: Companies may face expensive legal battles stemming from negligent hiring lawsuits if an employee with a problematic background causes harm. Legal fees, settlements, and potential fines for non-compliance with industry regulations can add up quickly.
  • Reputational Damage: An incident involving an unvetted employee can severely tarnish a company’s reputation. Negative publicity can lead to lost business opportunities, decreased customer trust, and challenges in attracting top talent.
  • Decreased Employee Morale: When a problematic hire disrupts the workplace, it can lead to decreased morale among other employees. This can result in lower productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher turnover rates.
  • Operational Disruptions: An unqualified employee may cause operational inefficiencies and disruptions, impacting the overall productivity and effectiveness of the team.

In one particularly egregious example a few years ago, Barada Associates was asked to verify the academic credentials of an individual being considered for a research chemist’s position with a medical testing equipment company. The individual claimed to have a degree in chemistry from a major Midwestern university.

A quick call to the school revealed that the individual not only had failed to complete the work for the degree but also had been dismissed from the school for poor academic performance. This person’s prior employment had been with a major pharmaceutical firm. (They hadn’t bothered to check.)

One can only imagine the potential harm that could have been done if this person had been involved in the development of a new medication that could have caused injury or even loss of life. Would the legal settlement have been in the millions of dollars? Probably. The point was that nobody bothered to check something as basic as whether or not the candidate had earned the degree claimed.

On balance, then, which risk is greater? The accusation of invasion of privacy, (which can easily be avoided by simply getting the candidate’s permission to do a background check and to check references), or hiring someone who is unqualified for the job at the very least or, at the worst, hiring an outright fraud? The answer should be obvious.

What Can I Learn From a Background Check? 

Background checks are a vital component of the hiring process, providing a wealth of information that helps employers make informed decisions. By conducting thorough background checks, you can gain insights into several key areas of a candidate’s history, including:

  • Employment History: Verifying a candidate’s past employment can reveal their work experience, job stability, and professional achievements. This employment verification check helps ensure that the applicant has the necessary experience and skills for the role.
  • Educational Credentials: Confirming academic qualifications with academic verification ensures that the candidate possesses the claimed degrees and certifications. This is crucial for roles requiring specific educational backgrounds.
  • Criminal History: A criminal background check helps identify any past criminal behavior that might pose a risk to your workplace or employees. This is particularly important for positions involving sensitive information, financial transactions, or direct customer interaction.
  • Credit History: For roles involving financial responsibilities, a credit check can provide insights into a candidate’s financial reliability and integrity. It can help you assess their ability to handle financial tasks responsibly.
  • Professional Licenses and Certifications: Verifying professional licenses and certifications with an academic verification ensures that the candidate is legally qualified to perform certain jobs, especially in regulated industries like healthcare, finance, and law.
  • Reference Checks: Speaking with former employers, colleagues, or other references can provide valuable information about a candidate’s work ethic, interpersonal skills, and suitability for the position.
  • Social Media Presence: Reviewing a candidate’s social media activity during a social media background check can offer additional insights into their character, behavior, and how they present themselves publicly. This can be useful for roles where public image and professionalism are crucial.
  • Driving Record Check: Checking an employee’s previous driving record is important, and sometimes even required, for positions that involve operating vehicles. This helps verify that the candidate adheres to traffic laws, maintains a responsible driving behavior, and is suitable for roles where driving is a significant responsibility. This type of check is particularly important for roles in transportation, delivery services, and any job requiring company vehicle use.

By leveraging pre-employment screening, employers can mitigate the risk of hiring unqualified, dishonest, or potentially harmful individuals. Partnering with a trusted provider like Barada Associates ensures that you receive an accurate and thorough background check. Contact us today for a consultation and quote.

Are There Legal Consequences for Not Performing Background Checks?

Neglecting to perform background checks can expose employers to significant legal risks and liabilities.

One major concern is negligent hiring claims. Employers can be held liable if an employee causes harm and it is discovered that a proper background check could have prevented the incident. This is particularly relevant if the employee’s past behavior, which would have been revealed during a background check, poses a foreseeable risk.

Failing to conduct background checks also can lead to violations of industry-specific regulations, especially in sectors like healthcare, finance, and education, where rigorous screening is mandatory. Employers might also face penalties for non-compliance with federal and state laws that mandate background checks for certain positions, such as those involving vulnerable populations or sensitive information.

Without background checks, organizations risk hiring individuals with fraudulent qualifications or criminal histories, potentially jeopardizing workplace safety and productivity.

These legal consequences highlight the critical importance of comprehensive background screening to protect your organization from potential liabilities or harm. Conducting thorough background checks not only mitigates legal risks but also promotes a culture of diligence and responsibility within the organization.

What is the Cost of Performing Background Checks? 

Performing background checks, while involving certain costs, is an investment that yields substantial returns in terms of risk mitigation and organizational integrity.

Financially, the costs associated with background checks can include fees for third-party screening services and internal administrative expenses. However, these costs are often outweighed by the savings gained from avoiding negligent hiring lawsuits, theft, and fraud.

Non-monetary costs include the time required to conduct thorough checks, which can lengthen the hiring process. Additionally, there may be a temporary strain on HR resources as they manage the screening process.

However, when working with Barada Associates, we take on the brunt of the work so your team isn’t weighed down. We also guarantee a fast turnaround time so there aren’t any costly delays in your hiring process.

Despite these costs, the benefits far surpass the drawbacks. The cost of performing background checks is a small price to pay for the long-term security and success of your organization.

Contact Barada Associates Today

Ensure the safety, security, and success of your organization and increase the likelihood that your company hires a qualified new employee by partnering with Barada Associates. Our expertise in thorough and accurate background checks can help you make informed hiring decisions, protect your company from potential risks, and maintain a trustworthy workplace environment.

Don’t leave your hiring process to chance—rely on our decades of experience to provide you with the insights you need. Whether you’re looking to verify academic credentials, conduct detailed reference checks, or implement a full-scale background screening program, Barada Associates is here to assist you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how our services can benefit your organization.