Starting a Business?
Join Docstoc's 100% Free Quick-Launch Guide to Starting a Business! Curated Exclusively by the Editors of Docstoc
Human Resources

Why You Should Always Run a Background Check on a New Hire

Employee background screenings are almost a matter of course for all employment these days. However, you might feel the urge to cut costs by not performing them or maybe you feel like your small business doesn’t really need them. Although, once you get the facts, you will realize how crucial it is for you to always run a background check on new hires.

Why You Should Always Run a Background Check on a New Hire

Reasons that you should always run a background check on a new hire include:

  • Negligent Hiring Lawsuits: This is a growing field of litigation. A negligent hiring lawsuit is a suit lodged by a party harmed by someone in your employ. If you hire someone without conducting a background check, you might be liable in such a suit if you hired someone with a violent background who hurts someone while on the clock.
  • Fact Checking a Resume: Think of running a background check on a new hire as a way to fact check a person’s resume. While you can’t verify every little detail using a background check, you can ensure that the basics -- where a person lived, when and for how long -- are accurate.
  • Loss Prevention: If you hire a person with a criminal background that includes theft -- especially theft from previous employers -- you are opening yourself up to unnecessary losses. Further, people with bankruptcies and bad credit ratings are statistically more likely to steal from you than people with a better financial background. One problem with this line of thinking is that the people most likely to steal from you are people with debts not reported on credit reports, such as gambling debt.

Important Legal Issues

If you perform background checks it is absolutely crucial that you do so within the confines of pertinent law. Some things to consider when doing background checks:

  • Your inquiries should be related to the job.
  • Do background checks for all potential new hires if you do them for any new hires. Otherwise, you open yourself up to charges of discrimination and potential lawsuits. This isn’t just bad for your bottom line, it’s potentially toxic publicity.
  • Obtain written consent. First of all, no reputable background checking agency will do a background check without it. Second of all, this is another area where you will open yourself up to lawsuits and bad publicity if you fail to comply.
  • Practice restraint. You can also open yourself up to a lawsuit if you engage in overkill with regard to background checks. Remember that if you are too stringent in what you require that this could be construed by an aggrieved party (and an ambitious lawyer) as discrimination. Stick to criminal and credit checks.

Protect Yourself

Protect yourself and your business with background checks. You will ensure that everyone coming through your doors to work is legal and has a clear criminal background. In the event that you want to hire someone with a criminal background, you will be able to clear the air about past charges. Either way, it’s no longer an option in the 21st Century to screen employees.

Photo courtesy of brettneilson via Flickr

Starting a Business?
Join Docstoc's 100% Free Quick-Launch Guide to Starting a Business! Curated Exclusively by the Editors of Docstoc