Employee Background Checks And Their Worth

November 20, 2018

If you’re the owner of a large business with more than a hundred employees, you may be tempted to skip the background check procedures in favour of saving money, but could this decision end up costing you more money than you saved?

What can you expect from a standard background check?

While the following points are what are usually included in a basic employee background check, it’s worth noting that many more employers nowadays are choosing to check a potential candidate’s presence on social media, too:

  • Criminal background check

Does the candidate have a criminal record or any outstanding criminal proceedings outstanding against them?

  • Past employment confirmation

Does the information given by the candidate on their resume, match their actual employment history?

  • Identity confirmation

As simple as confirming that the candidate is really who they are telling you they are.

  • Education confirmation

Whether the candidate really graduated from the university that they stated on their resume, or whether they graduated at all?

  • Illegal drug use

Is the candidate capable of passing a drug test?

What are some of the risks associated with not conducting employee background checks?

In recent research and surveys conducted by human resource companies, the findings showed that most human resource professionals use background checks as part of their hiring process, and one of the top reasons for them doing so, was public safety. The more that you can know about each employee, the safer your business will be, and the safer the public will be, too, since the two often go hand in hand.

Employee theft or fraud is another huge concern for businesses, and since the cost of these can run into the tens of thousands depending on its severity, it’s hard to imagine why some business owners wouldn’t want to lessen the risk of this happening by running employment checks.

How much does a background check cost?

The cost of employment background checks can vary greatly, depending upon how much you want to screen them for. Conducting a straightforward Social Security number trace may cost you as little as $3, but if you’re wanting to run a nationwide criminal record check, then that cost you upwards of $70 for each employee.

While these numbers may be alarming when you calculate them for your entire workforce, they are nowhere near as alarming as discovering that an employee you’ve recently taken on is not who they say are, and that they may pose an immediate threat to your business and public safety, the ramifications of which may be costly and damaging beyond repair.

How far can you go with a background check?

Going further than a basic criminal record search and demographic information may be more expensive, but it gives you the distinct advantage of being able to discover any bankruptcies, foreclosures or eviction records that may be lurking in the past of your potential candidate.

In a recent estimate from the U.S. Department of Labor, the costs arising from having made a bad hiring decision, can hit a whopping 30% of the earnings from the first year, and when you look at it in this light, it seems like a no brainer to invest a little in preventing bad hiring decisions, and huge money losses further down the line.

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