There is a short answer and a long answer to this question. The short answer is: Because it’s the smart thing to do! A longer answer would involve explaining why it’s the smart thing to do. Among the 5 best reasons why employers should perform “reasonable diligence” employment background checks are:
√ Demonstrate a reasonable, meaningful and appropriate level of carefulness to determine a job candidate’s suitability for a specific position. Hiring the most qualified candidates for specific positions.
√ Verify the candidate’s relevant experience, stated qualifications & required credentials – helping you make the best, most informed hiring decisions.
√ Provide a reasonable level of diligence in an effort to discover certain facts about a candidate’s history that could indicate propensities for violence, dishonesty, recklessness or other criminal behavior that could potentially resurface in a future workplace context. Enhance workplace security.
√ Detect those who would pass fraudulent Resumes and falsified credentials or have lied during the interview regarding their background, experience and qualifications.
√ Protect and insulate employers against claims of negligent hiring.
Failing to conduct adequate background screening on prospective employees can easily result in the wrong person in the wrong job – wasting expenditures in recruiting/onboarding, training, benefits time and salary.
Of primary concern to a healthy enterprise is when a dangerous person is introduced into the workplace because a background check was inadequate or non-existent. The potential danger in failing to perform adequate background checks can take many forms. It might be the substance abuser who comes to work in an altered state, the convicted embezzler looking for an easy mark or an individual whose prior history includes a pattern violating restraining orders and convictions for violent acts or criminal recklessness.
The statistics are concerning:
- Embezzlement losses exceed $40 billion annually
- 30% of all employment applications are falsified to some degree.
- 45% of submitted resumes contain false or exaggerated information regarding education, skills and accomplishments. 1 in 20 job applicants falsify their name, social security number or driver license number to hide conviction or other past problems.
- In calendar year 1990, 2,255,000 California drivers had their driving privileges suspended or revoked. In that same year, 203,780 California drivers were convicted of driving with a suspended or revoked drivers license. In a 1987 survey of California drivers who were currently under suspension, 60% reported that they drove while their driving privileges were suspended or revoked. And since 1987, the problem of drivers under suspension driving regardless, has only gotten worse.
- Also in 1987, 34 out of 100 drivers under license suspension were convicted of moving violations. Approximately 5 out of 100 were involved in an accident. (These were people who shouldn’t have been operating a motor vehicle).
- One out of ten workers regularly use illegal drugs (reducing productivity 35% while increasing the likelihood of accidents and workers compensation claims.
- 71% of drug addicts are employed.