Regardless of the size of your company, background checking is important. Here, we list the five main reasons a business should incorporate background checking into their HR policies.
First and foremost, many businesses have a legal obligation to carry out certain background checks. They may or may not be aware of this, but should something happen which indicates the correct level of vetting wasn’t conducted, they could face significant repercussions.
The legal obligation can be due to the specifics of a certain role, or simply related to the overall industry. Many roles in aviation or anything governmental will require stringent background checks. Equally, a role with financial responsibility, such as a Finance Director or Chief Financial Officer, will potentially require a detailed background check.
The regulation surrounding which roles and what checks are required is constantly changing and businesses need to stay up to speed with what is required of them.
Whilst not all businesses are legally obliged to carry out checks for all their roles, there are many benefits in doing so for every single one. The most significant of these is to protect your business from the commercial and financial damage a bad hire can cause. This could be from theft, data security or intellectual property. Hiring someone who has misbehaved in the past without knowing about that history is asking for trouble. Background screening is a great way to improve security and mitigate the risk of new hires.
However, employers need to be responsible with the level of screening they conduct for candidates. The level and depth of check should be relevant to the role being filled. Also, every person for a role should be screened to a consistent level. There is regulation about what you can and can’t do, so make sure you’re up to speed.
- Brand Reputation
Another consideration of hiring is the damage someone could do to the commercial aspect of your business. Any incidents could damage the brand and reputation of your business. A background check will enable you to fully understand who you’re hiring and how they have behaved in previous roles. Background checking will not stop new hires from making mistakes (everyone does), but it will highlight discrepancies between their CVs and their actual abilities, making it easier for you to spot people who are misrepresenting themselves on their CVs.
A simple, yet important one; without background checking an individual, how can you be sure you’re not bringing someone dangerous into your business? Someone with a serious criminal conviction or a history of bad behaviour could pose a threat to your existing staff, your customers and yourself. That’s not to say you can’t hire people with convictions, but if they’ve not told you about them, you may want to know why.
- Catching Bad Hires
Not every hire is a good one, and background checking isn’t just there to stop you hiring someone who is dangerous. Often, new starters just don’t work out and you have to let them go. Hopefully, this happens within their probation period but even then, it is a costly experience for the business. You need to rehire that role and begin the process over again. Background checking will help you make a better hiring decision, as a full employment history plus references will help you make an informed decision on a person’s capabilities and how they operate professionally.
Background checking is the new norm, for everyone
Background checking is growing in prevalence but is still not widespread, and the quality and consistency of checks vary widely.
What’s clear is that background checking isn’t just something a business has to do for compliance and regulation reasons. There are significant advantages to background checking and businesses that don’t screen their staff are putting themselves at a disadvantage.
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