Criminals don’t just lurk in the shadows of the night; they can appear in your interview rooms and workplaces. It may be shocking, but the fact is that about 7% of all job applicants have been convicted of a misdemeanor while around 4% have a felony on their record. There are valid reasons why employers would need to know about these individuals’ pasts. Depending upon the crime, some applicants cannot legally qualify for certain jobs; child molestation charges, for example, would disqualify someone from working with children. Let’s take a look at the top 3 reasons why you should perform a criminal background search prior to hiring anyone: negligence lawsuits, business losses, and higher turnover rates.
Negligence lawsuits are those lawsuits brought against a company by an employee, a former employee, or a customer for neglectful hiring that leads to injury or abuse. Millions of dollars are spent each year on lawsuits and settlements initiated by people who have been injured due to the actions taken (or not taken) by a company’s workers. A recent example is a case of nursing home negligence won last month against a senior living home for the company’s failure to supervise a woman during an outing. She was injured during her absence from the group because she was an Alzheimer’s patient who wandered away unnoticed. That company has lost more than just the money awarded in the lawsuit; their malpractice insurance rates will inevitably rise, their reputation has been tainted, and they may be subject to loss of business if current resident’s families move them to other homes.
Second on the list is business loss, which can include crimes such as employee theft and the loss of customers. For the employee who has a criminal record of stealing from former employers, the dollars siphoned off can be staggering. Regardless of whether the person is an accountant, an executive, or someone who processes orders, a business is at risk. Cash and property stolen by a dishonest employee can take only moments to accomplish and the theft can take weeks or months to be exposed. Another example of a business loss would be a factory worker who has a felony DUI on their record and shows up to work while under the influence. The company risks a serious financial setback if that worker harms another employee while operating machinery.
Finally, higher employee turnover is the third reason you should never hire a new staff member until a criminal background check has been done. When a person has a history of sexual harassment in the workplace, for example, they may not be the best choice for employment with your company. Not only can complaints arise from fellow co-workers, but some may simply quit and never indicate why they resigned. The risk of a sexual harassment lawsuit is another obvious reason to look at a candidate’s criminal history before hiring them.
Your business, your employees, and your customers are all safer as a result of an employee being checked for past crimes they may have been convicted of. Don’t hire another person before using an employment screening service like Accu-Screen. Within 36 hours, you can have an accurate and thorough report about your applicant that includes: dates of employment, job titles held, salary history, degree/certification verification, their DMV record, and, of course, their criminal background!