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Top Reasons Why Employers Conduct Background Checks

ByBen Vick

Feb 28, 2023
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As an employer, you have special responsibilities that are needed to be taken seriously and carried out to keep an organization safe and running smoothly for its employees, customers, and every other person involved with the organization.

In this article, you will be enlightened on the responsibilities of an employer and the benefits of running a background check on applicants or employees for the smooth running of an organization and what to do to pass background checks. 

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Table of Contents

What Are Background Checks? 

In simple terms, background checks are processes you take as an employer to verify someone’s personal and professional history. This very much plays a part in protecting your reputation as an organization or as a business enterprise.

Background checks also include education, employment history, criminal record, and other relevant information that can affect an organization in one way or the other.

How Are Background Checks Carried Out ?

There are different ways background checks can be carried out depending on the industry or company’s level of responsibility, the employer, and the type of job that is being offered.

In most cases, employers employ a form of reference checks on their candidates to carry out background checks which involve contacting an applicant’s previous employers, supervisors, co-workers, and educators to verify if the candidate is truthful, also to verify employment qualification and to obtain information about the individual’s knowledge, skills, abilities and character in an organization.

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The processes of background checks Include requesting for the applicant’s consent in compliance with federal laws, contacting candidate references, using a background check website to review records, asking the candidate to take a drug test, and reviewing results.

Why Are Background Checks Important?

Some of the most common reasons why background checks on applicant are important to include:

Risk reduction or management

Background checks are a quick way to verify if a candidate or an applicant’s application or documents are valid even after performing an interview. Sufficient background checks reduce the chances of employing unqualified or someone unskilled for the available positions.

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According to findings by Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG)  Fraud Risk Management services, 75% of major businesses and organizations’ frauds were committed by insiders who are employees, who either have criminal records in the past and might have not been properly checked by their employer.

Protects the company’s reputation and brand: 

As a trusted entity or organization that wants to keep its legacy and not have it tarnished by its employees, the employer must make sure to perform background checks and employ a trustworthy and qualified candidate, with no behavioral problems that could damage the company’s reputation or brand.

Risk Management and Liability: 

Protecting employees in a working environment must be a priority for an employer, thereby promoting a safe, healthy workspace and efficiency. Conducting background checks plays a huge role in archiving this. Identify candidates with criminal records or with violence history, theft, or fraud, to help protect the company from any future potential lawsuits, getting rid of any situation that poses a threat to other employees, investor and customers.

Comply with industry regulations and standards

Certain industries, such as healthcare and finance require employees to pass background checks as a condition of employment, conducting background checks can help ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards.

Improve employees retention

Conducting background checks on applicant is one of the safety measures an employer takes to ensure the safety of other employees in an organization, which can also promote or increase employee retention capability as well as increase overall job satisfaction and productivity.

Saves time and resources

Conducting background checks helps employers save time and money, in the sense that it reduces employee turnover in a business. When an employer fails to implement background checks on it’s applicant or candidates, there is a high chance of employing a job hopper, unqualified persons, and other risks which can cost the enterprise money looking for a replacement thereafter. 

Backcheck or background checks is another way to comply with state and federal laws regarding employment screening and avoid lawsuits and fines that might arise from hiring candidates who do not meet legal requirements.

What Type Of Background Checks Do Employers Do

Some of the most common background checks employers do on jobs applicants include:

Criminal background check

To keep all your employees safe, and protect the company’s brand and reputation, a backcheck on the criminal history of a job applicant is very necessary, which can be easily done by paying a visit to a local, state, or national law enforcement agency or using the criminal records databases online.

Employment history verification

For the interest of an industry, an employer may also verify an applicant’s employment history, including previous job positions, employment dates, and reasons for leaving to avoid employing a job hopper and save time and resources. It is also necessary for the employer to verify the education status of an applicant and ensure all information is correct and valid using the reference check. 

Reference checks

The reference check method of background checks is when an employer contacts an applicant’s professional references to obtain information about the applicant’s work performance and character to validate other related information. 

Credit check

For jobs that involve the handling of funds or money, an employer is required to perform a history check to make sure the applicant is not a defaulter and does not owe other organizations or institutes.

Drug testing

Employers conduct or ask an applicant to take a drug test to check for illegal drug use to avoid abuse and keep other staff and avoid a sue.

What Should Employees Do To Pass Background Checks? 

As an employee, what you need to do to pass a background check is to ensure that you give accurate information and make sure your record is clean. Check your credit, and be truthful with all your history to stand a chance of being considered if there is a need.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a background check take?

Ideally, it takes two to five business days to be completed but can be delayed, depending on the accuracy of the information provided by the applicant and background history. 

Can an employer fire you after they hired you because of a background check?

The answer to this question is “YES”, but if you had enough time to prove your worth and show that you have changed your ways or no longer have nothing to do with what they found you guilty of, you might be considered.

However, employers have the right to fire an employee at any time they deem fit. 

Is it illegal to run a backgroundcheck on someone without consent

Before running a background check an employer is required to receive formal approval from the applicant, so it is illegal to run a background check on someone without their consent.

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By Ben Vick

Ben Vick is a Content Writer and Creator at Careersroom. He focuses on creating well-researched and unique content and believes that all weaknesses can be turned into strengths with time, effort, and practice.

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