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An Employment Background Check Makes Sense

Aug 17, 2007
It used to be people could put anything down on a resume and run very little risk of it being checked out. But, as more and more horror stories surface about employees not having the backgrounds they said they did, employers are making this a standard practice.

Thanks to the Internet, completing background checks is now quick, easy and a whole lot more cost effective than hiring the wrong person and having to let them go down the road.

If you're an employer and you don't run background checks, let's look at some of the biggest reasons you should change that policy:

* Protects you from a bad hire. While it's true a background check can't tell the future, it can help you weed out employees who might not be truthful on their applications. If the person isn't who he or she says he or she is, a background check will help ferret this out.

* Protects other employees. People with serious criminal backgrounds sometimes try to slide into a system. By performing a background check, you might find the person you wanted working night stock, for example, has a conviction record that wouldn't make him the right choice for the slot.

* Proves integrity. "Everyone lies on applications." That's the common misconception, but it's simply not true. By performing a background check, you can't weed out those employees who might be less than honest and hire only those who have proven at least a basic level of integrity by telling the truth on their applications and resumes.

It's your right to check into a possible hire's past, and doing so is just smart if you want to hire only those people who show a basic level of integrity. An interview, after all, can only tell you so much.

* Protects you from future issues that may arise. If there is a problem with an employee down the road, a properly performed background check can help insulate you and your company by proving you did your due diligence to ensure the person had the right credentials for the position. As an employer, it's your job to provide a safe workplace for employees. If you don't know the backgrounds of those people, however, you could have a loaded gun just waiting to go off.

There are a number of good reasons to perform background checks on employees before you hire them. The things you can look at can really help you make informed decisions about your manpower. Considering a good check will include everything from citizenship and criminal record to driving records and even college completion, it just makes good sense to do a check before you make a final decision.

For employees, too, a background check can actually provide a level of comfort. Knowing a company cares enough about its staffing to ensure only the best are hired speaks well to potential employees about the company's philosophies and priorities. Getting the job done is great. But, getting the job done in a professional and safe environment is something most potential hires will appreciate as a priority.
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