Background Check Myths

When you shop, do you read customer reviews before finalizing your purchasing decisions?  If so, why not apply that same logic to your workplace?

In this brief article, we dispel two myths surrounding the valuable workplace culture and safety tool called a background check.

Myth #1 – Background checks are only for large employers.

It’s common knowledge that large companies conduct background checks on candidates.  However, this tool might just have a larger impact on small organizations who are building a reputation and who have a lot to lose.

Small businesses can gain a competitive advantage when they demonstrate that their employees are safe.  Whether your employees process receivables; enter customers’ homes to address electrical, HVAC, or plumbing issues; provide childcare or healthcare services; or require access to vulnerable people and sensitive information, you can rest easily if you’ve obtained a thorough background check for your employees.  

Think one employee can’t wreak havoc on a small company?  Think again.  In June 2017, a former bookkeeper of a small Indiana company was charged with stealing $1.8 million from her employer.  While a background check may not have prevented this if the bookkeeper had no previous accusations, going forward, any employer who conducts a background check on her would uncover this alarming accusation.

Myth #2 – Background checks are limited to candidates. 

Obtaining background checks on existing employees is not only acceptable, it is advised.  Circumstances change, so a background check that is more than one year old, or even three months old for some positions, is considered outdated.   

Don’t rely on old background checks when updated information can help to better drive your employment decisions.  After hiring what you think is the perfect candidate, it is important to periodically make sure that he or she is still a good fit for your company.  Background checks can uncover red flags, such as financial trouble, serious driving violations, or other criminal conduct making them a good tool for your retention policy.

Bottom Line

Being able to assign sensitive duties to your team frees up your time to help your business grow and thrive.  However, before handing over the keys to your company’s vehicles, divulging login information to confidential company information, or assigning access to sensitive materials, gain peace of mind by finding out the trustworthiness of your employees.  

Remember, from a customer’s point of view, your business is only as trustworthy as your employees!