4 reasons to screen applicants with a criminal background check

4 Reasons to Screen Applicants with a Criminal Background Check

Vet your business’s applicants before bringing them into the fold with a quality employment background screening

An employee background screening gives you the context you need to make an informed hire for your company. For even greater insight, screen applicants with a criminal background check as part of that process. 

Verifying a criminal record as part of your pre-employment background check represents a must. If your prospective hire will carry out risk-laden tasks in their everyday role, this heightens in importance. These can range from driving a company vehicle to having facility keys to carrying a firearm. 

Furthermore, before baking a criminal background check into your pre-employment screening, make yourself aware of the restrictions. State and federal laws outline these rules and regulations, and anti-discrimination laws are in place to ensure applicants are treated fairly regardless of their past. Bringing on an employee with a checkered past isn’t uncommon—after all, most people deserve a second chance—and the results of a criminal background check don’t prevent you from making a hire. 

With that in mind, here’s why 4 reasons to screen applicants with a criminal background check. 

Protect your people

Hiring the wrong person doesn’t just put your business at risk. It can endanger the people around you.

However, while you can overlook a candidate’s past mistakes, you should be cognizant of your current employees and mindful of their safety. If you ignore a past transgression that could reoccur during normal work duties (e.g. hiring a delivery driver with a DUI), you could be in jeopardy of negligent hiring claims. It’s not illegal but can make your company liable (in this instance, if the employee was convicted of another DUI while on the job and injured someone).

Your new hire must integrate with your current staff and be safe around customers and the public. Therefore, ensure you have all the information to make a hire safe for all parties involved. 

Safeguard your company from risk

Adding a criminal background check to your pre-employment screening is like adding insurance to your hiring process. By making sure your applicants meet your company’s hiring standards, you’ll mitigate the risk of employing someone who could be a liability to your organization and employees.

Employing the wrong person could lead to countless unintended consequences if their record isn’t behind them. It can be avoided when you have all the pertinent information available to you before you send out offers.

Save time and money by hiring the right person—the first time

Hiring for open positions poses enough challenges. If you make the wrong hire because a criminal background check couldn’t save you from making an ill-advised hire, you can cost your company thousands.

Therefore, spare yourself some déjà vu and your business a financial loss. 

Avoid PR fallout

If a poor hire ends up endangering or harming customers or coworkers, you’ll have created a public relations crisis. On top of the money it costs your company to hire and fire a problem employee, it will cost your communications staff time and effort that could’ve been better spent on positive marketing outreach. To make matters worse, it can be harmful to your brand and make hiring the next time even harder.

Warning signs of belligerent behavior can be flagged in pre-employment background checks that include criminal record screenings.

New to the world of background checks? Then, explore our wide array of insights, tips and employment background screening guides on the OneSource blog.