Employee Background Screening FAQ

Close up of pencil on Criminal background check
** Note: Shallow depth of field

Employee Background Screening FAQ

Not sure if your company or small business should conduct background checks on potential employees? Maybe you’re not sure if they’re worth it or if they’re relevant to you if you know the employee. But there is some information about background screening that you should know about so you can make the most educated decision possible. And if you’re a company that involves commercial drivers for the trucking industry or a private limousine company, you will read more about the importance of background checking as required by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Q: Why Should I Conduct a Background Screening on all Prospective Employees?

A: If you are a business owner and you choose not to use background checks when looking to hire a new employee, you are putting your business at risk. Would you hand the keys to your home to a total stranger?  Not likely. The same goes for your business. An improperly vetted employee who wasn’t background checked is like a stranger being let into your business, given access to your various accounts and information, and risking the safety of your employees. As you can see, there are many obvious reasons to background check all potential employees you are thinking about hiring, because a first impression isn’t enough.

Q: Are Background Checks More Useful for Large Companies and Not Small Businesses?

A: Although it may seem like small businesses don’t need a background screening system like large corporations do, they have just as many reasons to vet employees. In fact, small businesses often have more to risk by not background checking potential employees because they often don’t have the tools and support to recover from bringing in a bad employee. Large companies can often recoup any costs lost due to a stealing worker with a criminal past, but small business often just don’t have the tools necessary to fully recover from the damage. And while large companies will almost always still be able to continue doing business, small businesses can easily go out of business all because of one employee.

Q: If I Conduct Background Checks, Does it Send the Message to New Hires That I Don’t Trust my Employees?

A: This may be a concern for you, but conducting background checks isn’t assuming everyone you may wish to hire is a criminal. And when it comes to your business, you can never be too careful and be partial to particular employees just because of how they may act in an interview. Your current employees will also be appreciative of the screening of new potential hires because they don’t want to work with someone who could risk their safety or the future of their career at your business.

Q: Can a Pre-Employment Background Check Tell Me About Someone’s Character?

A: A background check isn’t enough to be able to tell how hard working an employee might be or whether they will be a good fit for your business, but it can give you some insight into their character by showing you some of their decisions they’ve made in the past and giving you an idea of whether you can trust them. If a job candidate has a spotless, gleaming resume that impresses you, but then some not-so-great things are revealed on a background check, it tells you that they chose not to be completely honest about themselves.

Q: If a Background Screening Reveals a Criminal Record, Do I Have the Right to Immediately Dismiss this Employee from Consideration?

A: When considering someone for a job position, employers need to have a valid reason for dismissing a candidate based on a background check. It isn’t necessarily legal to discriminate someone for just any reason. If a potential delivery driver or limousine driver has had ten speeding tickets or has been charged with a DUI, that’s a completely valid reason not to hire them for the job. But if they have a clean record despite one misdemeanor charge that occurred ten years ago, that’s not a valid reason to automatically disqualify them.

Q: Is It Important to Make Background Screenings Easy for Job Applicants?

A: Having a complicated background screening process may turn off potential employees that would have made great workers for your business. People don’t want to have to jump through various hoops or have to wait weeks to see if they’ve been hired. Today’s world is fast-paced and if someone is truly a great employee, they won’t find it hard to get hired somewhere else where it isn’t stressful to go through the hiring process.

Q: With so Many People Being on Social Media These Days, Should I Scan a Potential Hire’s Social Media Accounts for Questionable Information?

A: While it may be tempting for employers to “stalk” a person’s social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram, doing so may risk you getting pulled into a lawsuit. Someone’s personal social platforms may reveal things about a person’s character and beliefs that aren’t allowed to be discussed in an interview. So making a decision of whether to hire or not based on these qualities can make you vulnerable to liability.

For more information about pre-employment background checks and to find a comprehensive background screening service that can help protect your business, contact the professionals at New Era Drug Testing.