You may hear about the horror stories that can result from a failure to implement complete workplace background checks on employees in the news or through the grapevine fairly regularly. But it’s unusual that when stories are told of gross employee theft, violence, criminal incompetence or a dozen other things that improperly vetted staff may do to hurt their employers, that anything other than the disturbing act itself and the resulting damage is shared. What you rarely hear about is that the offending employee’s background was not thoroughly researched, that there was no criminal background check or that the workplace background check was not done well.
Here are a few examples of the kinds of things that can happen, and have on a massive scale in recent years, as a direct result of a failure to perform proper and complete workplace background checks.
Workplace Violence – From the sad, tragic, and outrageous circumstances that can result from violence in the workplace, nothing can make incidences like these more bitter to the employer and HR department than knowing that violence committed by an employee could have been avoided with thorough workplace background checks.
Professional Theft – Oftentimes, professional criminals live out their careers in crime knowing that they are guaranteed to spend part of their lives in prison. For such a person, committing fraud in the job application and interview process is simply a matter of trying employer after employer until someone forgoes criminal workplace background checks and hires them. When this happens, the new employee can quickly gain access to valuable capital, cash registers and commit massive theft. Such a person may not be afraid of being fired or incarcerated. To them, the risk may be worth the reward.
Frivolous Lawsuits – In today’s employment market, there is very little loyalty between employer and employee, and there are a small but dangerous number of people out there who make their livings by filing frivolous lawsuits against employers. For those who are talented at this – just about any kind of employer – no matter how honest or well-meaning, is at risk.
Gross Incompetence – An incompetent employee can cost an employer massive amounts of money, or cause incalculable damage in a matter of hours, sometimes even moments. Heavy equipment operators, those who handle client’s financial information, and many other seemingly simple positions place the integrity of an entire organization in the hands of a single employee.
By performing simple and relatively inexpensive workplace background checks, you may avoid many of these dangers as well as the one that loom behind all of them: negligent hiring lawsuits. Don’t let your firm become another statistic by forgoing employee workplace background checks on all new and recent hires.