Background Checks

No rational employer would ever knowingly invite a convicted sex offender onto company property.  It’s impossible to imagine any employer posting a sign at the front door announcing “Sex Offenders Welcome!”  As absurd as the foregoing notion is, many employers are doing exactly that when they make a job offer contingent on the completion of a background check!

Some employers maintain that making a job offer contingent on the completion of a background check helps insure that an otherwise qualified candidate for employment won’t be lured away by some other employer while the background check is being done.  So, the thinking goes; they hire the candidate and then do the background check.  Depending on the lag time required to initiate and complete the background check and how thorough the background check is, the new employee could be on the job for weeks before the results are in.

Let’s suppose, just for the sake of discussion, that the new employee is a convicted sex offender and that he’s in your workplace with access to the entire property.  Have you put the rest of your workforce in danger?  Of course, you have!  Workplace safety has been unnecessarily compromised.  Is taking that risk a sensible thing to do?  No, at least not in my opinion.  Do you run the risk of losing a potentially valuable employee?  Sure you do, but which risk is greater?  Having a convicted felon on your premises and around your other employees or having him hired away by a competitor?

The only sensible course of action is to do the background check before the job offer is made.  Between the first and final interview, there ordinarily should be plenty of time to have a thorough background check done and in your hands – if capable professionals are used to do the checking.  If the results are bad, no job offer has to be made at all.  Most important, you, as the employer, have not put your other employees at risk of harm, and the integrity of workplace safety has been maintained.

It just doesn’t make sense to make a job offer contingent on the completion of a background check!